Monday, July 9, 2012

Featherbedding In US Public Schools: Since 1970, Schools Doubled Teaching Staff While Enrollment Remained Basically Unchanged: In The 40 Years, US Students Show No Improvement In Math, Science Or English Test Scores Or HS Graduation Rates: $210 Billion Per Year Taxed And Spent Unnecessarily On Ineffective Additional Teachers

From The Wall Street Journal, "America Has Too Many Teachers: Public-school employees have doubled in 40 years while student enrollment has increased by only 8.5%—and academic results have stagnated." by Andrew J Coulson:
Since 1970, the public school workforce has roughly doubled—to 6.4 million from 3.3 million—and two-thirds of those new hires are teachers or teachers' aides. Over the same period, enrollment rose by a tepid 8.5%. Employment has thus grown 11 times faster than enrollment. If we returned to the student-to-staff ratio of 1970, American taxpayers would save about $210 billion annually in personnel costs.
we can look at the "long-term trends" of 17-year-olds on the federal National Assessment of Educational Progress. These tests, first administered four decades ago, show stagnation in reading and math and a decline in science. Scores for black and Hispanic students have improved somewhat, but the scores of white students (still the majority) are flat overall, and large demographic gaps persist. Graduation rates have also stagnated or fallen. So a doubling in staff size and more than a doubling in cost have done little to improve academic outcomes.

Nor can the explosive growth in public-school hiring be attributed to federal spending on special education. According to the latest Census Bureau data, special ed teachers make up barely 5% of the K-12 work force.

The implication of these facts is clear: America's public schools have warehoused three million people in jobs that do little to improve student achievement—people who would be working productively in the private sector if that extra $210 billion were not taxed out of the economy each year.

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