If schools are to have a future, they will need to give up being a government jobs program.
That’s one of the messages ExcelinEd’s Mike Thomas shared in his most recent piece in The American Spectator. Continue reading to learn why our states desperately need to create more efficient, cost-effective models in public education.
Public Education Is Learning the Hard Way
The American Spectator
By: Mike Thomas
My career was in newspapers.
And so I saw our industry grow complacent on astronomical profit margins, making us easy prey for the digital innovators that took our advertisers and readers, and along with them our revenues.
The free market can be as ruthless as the African Serengeti in culling out the old and the weak. Just ask Blockbuster, Borders, Circuit City, the U.S. Postal Service or, most recently, anyone involved in TV cable.
It can be a painful dynamic, but one that has driven American success since Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown.
Now imagine if public education were exposed to such forces rather than protected from them. Certainly the growing sums of money we have invested in our classrooms over the past several decades would have bought more than the meager results we see today. But somehow the narrative of spend more to get more remains stubbornly ingrained in the national conscience despite all graphs to the contrary.
The commitment to education in state legislatures still is measured by annual increases in funding. And if more money doesn’t move the needle, then obviously it wasn’t enough money.
What does that buy you? Between 1950 and 2009, in public K-12 education, there was a 92 percent increase in the number of students and a 700 percent increase in the number or administrators and non-teaching staff.
Public education has taken on the characteristics of a government jobs program…
Want to read more by Mike Thomas? Check out these pieces:
- YMCA Summer Camp Is a National Model for Struggling Readers
- School choice pioneer says Nevada has gone too far. We disagree.
- Want better student outcomes? Data says offer school choice.