Liberals and their media water-carriers are already making an issue out of the $100 billion in federal spending cuts proposed by the GOP. They suggest that one issue is that the cut will hurt education funding.
Spending cut legislation should be just like Obamacare legislation, which, according to Pelosi, must be passed so we can find out what is in it.
First, a spending cut of $100,000,000,000 represents a 2.68% cut, which government can accomplish by switching from 2-ply to 1-ply toilet paper.
Second, it is interesting to note that since January, 2007 through December, 2010 the White House budgets shows that the Democrat-controlled Congress has reduced spending on education by $774,902 a day.
The expense, and the quality of U.S. education has been the focus of thousands of studies over the past decades, but the public hears little as the results are not good, and to publish the results would result in a demand for government accountability.
To begin, the famed Head Start Program was started in 1965 as a summer program for children in jeopardy, began with an enrollment of 561,000 attendees, a budget of $96,400,400 or a cost per attendee of $172. Due to its alleged success it morphed into a program to “promote school readiness by enhancing social and cognitive development.” By 2007 the enrollment increased to 908,412 attendees, a budget of $6.9 billion dollars or a cost per attendee of $7,571. That is a cost increase of 7,034.8%.
Many studies have been done to evaluate the success of Head Start, but none show more than a modest improvement when compared to testing of children that did not attend Head Start. In 2009, Georgetown University studied Head Start and determined there was “modest improvement in reading, but no improvement in oral comprehension, phonological awareness, or math.” In 2007 Head Start employed 220,000 people, who are adequate babysitters.
Primary and Secondary education in America leaves much to be desired. The cost of our education is among the highest in the world. In 2007 the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development evaluated the cost of education of member nations. The United States ranked #2 in the cost of primary education, #4 in cost of secondary education, and #1 in the cost of obtaining an undergraduate degree. In fact, the cost of an undergraduate degree was double the cost of all countries except two.
One might consider the cost of our education to be a wonderful investment in the future of our children...but is it? The Organization for Economic and Co-operation and Development conducts international standardized testing on Reading, Math and Science every three years. In 2006 there was no posted data on Reading for the United State as the OECD reported the results were corrupt. However, on Math the United States ranked #29, and on Science #21. On OECD testing in 2009 the United States ranked #17 in Reading, #30 in Math and #23 in Science. Not only was there no improvement, our students performed worse. Other data provided by the 2007 OECD includes that the U.S. high school graduation rate is 78%, and ranks #14. The report also concludes that U.S. entry level pay for teachers ranks #2 compared to other nations.
Another measure of the quality of U.S. education is the 1st time performance of college-bound student on the ACT [America College Testing] and SAT [Scholastic Aptitude Testing]. A revue of ACT performance shows that from 1970 to 2010 scores on English improved 11.4%; Math 1.9%; and no change for Reading and Science. A review of SAT performance shows that from 1967 to 2009 Verbal testing fell 7.7%, and Math skills, for all intents and purposes, remained the same.
A commonly held theme is that poverty causes poor school performance. However, if one compares the annual poverty rate to the annual ACT and SAT scores one can only conclude that poor education may in fact cause poverty. According to the OECD the United States has a drop out rate of 22%. But according to National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, during the school year 2007-2008 613,379 high school students dropped our without completing their education. These children, in essence, transitioned from a system of national education [including free meals] to a system of national welfare which adds to our poverty statistics and taxpayer burden.
Let the cuts begin.