Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Fixing Education

Weekly Standard: "As of 2006—of course the numbers are out of date—4,615,000 people were employed full-time by some 13,000 school districts (although if school districts used the same definition of “full-time” as the rest of us the number we’re talking about would be zero). Of these 4,615,000 there are 300,000 “clerical and secretarial staff” filling out No Child Left Behind paperwork and wondering why 64,000 “officials, administrators” aren’t doing it themselves, which they aren’t because they’re busy doing the jobs that 125,000 “principals and assistant principals” can’t because they’re supervising 383,000 “other professional staff” who are flirting with the 483,000 “teachers’ aides” who are spilling trail mix and low-fat yogurt in the teacher’s lounge making a mess for the 726,000 “service workers” to clean up, never mind that the students should be pushing the brooms and swinging the Johnny mops so at least they’d come home with a practical skill and clean the bathroom instead of sitting around comprehending 29 percent of their iPhone text messages and staying awake all night because they can only count 31 percent of sheep."

In what may be the highest laughs per run-on-sentence column I've ever seen, O'Rourke issues forth with a scathing rebuttal of our taxpayer funded compulsory education system.

Utilizing the latest available numbers from the US Dept of Education, the US Census, and various think tanks, this is a well deserved condemnation of the status kwo.
The reality of the situation is this: There is no reason we should be spending more money per semester of basic education per student then it costs for a semester of university education.

For a more balanced and intellectual approach to this issue, here is a sample of a column by Gary North:
The establishment of churches funded by tax money has been common in most societies throughout history. I contend that it is basic to the modern world, too. The modern priesthood is the educational establishment in each nation. Tax funding goes to those institutions that have been certified as reputable by the priesthood.
The transfer of tax money from the churches to the schools replaced the older system of established religion. The underlying principles of tax funding have not changed. The underlying presuppositions of the benefits of this funding have not changed. The difference is this: there were a lot of Baptists in the early 1800s, and there were a lot more of them by 1890. They had the votes. They opposed tax-funded churches. They had been on the receiving end of that tyranny for too long. Unfortunately, they adopted the religion of public education with the same fervor that other denominations did in the nineteenth century.

From an old lion of the right, one who's Basic Economics Handbook was my high school textbook (Yep, I'm Homeschooled) on economics comes this thoughtful and easily digested piece:
"It was once the proud declaration of many educators that "We are here to teach you how to think, not what to think." But far too many of our teachers and professors today are teaching their students what to think, about everything from global warming to the new trinity of "race, class and gender."

Even if all the conclusions with which they indoctrinate their students were 100 percent correct, that would still not be equipping students with the mental skills to weigh opposing views for themselves, in order to be prepared for new and unforeseeable issues that will arise over their lifetimes, after they leave the schools and colleges


Gino said...

read my latest posting. it's near related on one point.

sowell: i have his memoirs, hand signed and personalized.
are you jealous?

Palm boy said...

I saw that pretty soon after you posted, the internets seem to be alive with this subject last night and today.

Yes, I am jealous. Thats pretty nice.