New study, new confirmation that dumping money into schools doesn’t fix them

posted at 7:21 pm on March 20, 2014 by Kevin Glass

So many progressive “solutions” to public policy problems simply involve dumping money into a hole. Education is no different. From teachers’ unions to New York Times pundits, the answer is always “more money.” Conservatives doubt that solution – that just dumping money into the education system doesn’t actually improve student outcomes. This isn’t a new argument, but a new study out from the Cato Institute [pdf] finds that not a single state was able to improve their education outcomes by increasing the amount of taxpayer money they spent on education.

Author Andrew J. Coulson writes:

Not only have dramatic spending increases been unaccompanied by improvements in performance, the same is true of the occasional spending declines experienced by some states. At one time or another over the past four decades, Alaska, California, Florida, and New York all experienced multi-year periods over which real spending fell substantially (20 percent or more of their 1972 expenditure levels). And yet, none of these states experienced noticeable declines in adjusted SAT scores—either contemporaneously or lagged by a few years. Indeed, their score trends seem entirely disconnected from their rising and falling levels of spending.

Overall, this can be summed up in one damning chart:

Don’t expect this to halt the advocacy from progressives for more money for education. Proper reforms focus on how current spending levels are distributed – not just pouring more into the hole.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Sorry .. but, this is news ?

J_Crater on March 20, 2014 at 7:22 PM

Spending up, grades down.

Sven on March 20, 2014 at 7:22 PM

Wasted money on education? Thank a teachers union.

Flange on March 20, 2014 at 7:23 PM

Time to break up the Government-Education complex and get money the hell out of education. Third graders don’t need ipads.

Murphy9 on March 20, 2014 at 7:23 PM

I’ll believe it’s “for the children” when I see school kids walking out of their classes with checks in hand

J_Crater on March 20, 2014 at 7:23 PM

So who ever said dumping more money into public schools was supposed to fix them and didn’t lie about it?

Silly people, the money goes to the teachers unions, pensions and administrative salaries. If there is anything left over, THAT money might patch things up here and there for appearances, but unfixed schools make a mighty good perennial prop to whine for more money. Always.

hawkeye54 on March 20, 2014 at 7:26 PM

New study, new confirmation that dumping money into schools doesn’t fix them

If you look at the graph you will notice that it is amazingly successful in increasing employment and paychecks for teachers which was in fact the purpose of the spending, if not the publically stated reason.

sharrukin on March 20, 2014 at 7:28 PM

New study, new confirmation that dumping money into schools doesn’t fix them

DUH!

Conservative4Ever on March 20, 2014 at 7:32 PM

It’s like giving twice as much money to the guy who couldn’t fix your car the first time: The incompetence isn’t remedied, in fact you’ve reduced his incentive to improve.

But it does make teacher union members happy, and they vote Democrat and give you campaign contributions and run your campaign phones, so the real purpose of the funding is still there.

Socratease on March 20, 2014 at 7:45 PM

Shocka! Next up: PC grade inflation does not raise SAT scores! Students spewing profanity at their teachers does not improve language skills! Ballooning, artificially inculcated self esteem does not create better job prospects or guarantee success in college! O’ got his college degrees from a Cheerios box…

vnvet on March 20, 2014 at 7:45 PM

The quality of a child’s education is in direct proportion and correlation to the quality and skill of the teacher(s), parental oversight, and home environment.

The state and/or federal government can pour any amount of money they choose into schools and equipment but if the quality of the teaching staff is lacking, or worse, the teaching staff is lazy and/or harboring grievance toward the students, parents, or administration, the quality of education will not improve.

I’d also point out that it is the job of a teacher to educate, not act as parent, babysitter, or warden.

It is the function of a school to bring together those who educate and those to be educated, not serve as a daycare center or holding facility.

Most importantly, a school is a place where individuals are to receive an education, to be taught how to think for themselves and why that’s important, rather than as a locus for indoctrination where individuals are told what to think.

thatsafactjack on March 20, 2014 at 7:46 PM

‘Factjack”, you are spot on. That’s why we’re doomed.

vnvet on March 20, 2014 at 7:54 PM

I hate the education system as it stands now anyway how is this news??

sorrowen on March 20, 2014 at 7:58 PM

So this is how Harvard gave us Obama the great and inept….

sorrowen on March 20, 2014 at 7:59 PM

So who ever said dumping more money into public schools was supposed to fix them and didn’t lie about it?

Silly people, the money goes to the teachers unions, pensions and administrative salaries. If there is anything left over, THAT money might patch things up here and there for appearances, but unfixed schools make a mighty good perennial prop to whine for more money. Always.

hawkeye54 on March 20, 2014 at 7:26 PM

In Wisconsin we also found out that a lot of that money is sucked off by greedy union bloodsuckers that set up their own health insurance companies that overcharge for their premiums and get rich in the process.

slickwillie2001 on March 20, 2014 at 8:01 PM

What the chart is missing is the astronomical improvement in both Social Justice Education and Applying For Government Handouts!

NiteOwl on March 20, 2014 at 8:02 PM

If you think the money hole that is public schools has been bad you haven’t seen anything now that almost all states have signed onto Common Core… Which is nothing more than Federal control courtesy of Bill and Melinda Gates.., of every single classroom K-12. The spending is already on steroids with it. And common core does not educate kids it trains them to be good little cogs in the progressives world…they almost admit it with their language… They never talk about educating or free thinking or questioning… It’s just training them for jobs, training them to be world citizens. Get involved now to stop it in your state… You think obamacare is bad… This is unfixable if not squashed now!!!

Caseoftheblues on March 20, 2014 at 8:06 PM

Ever occur to you h8rs that you still haven’t spent enough?

Axe on March 20, 2014 at 8:21 PM

Ever occur to you h8rs that you still haven’t spent enough?

Axe

of COURSE!!!!!! WHY didn’t we THINK of THAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Has it ever occurred to you h8ers that you’re spending it wrong?

BD57 on March 20, 2014 at 8:25 PM

In other breaking news… water is wet.

Roc on March 20, 2014 at 8:30 PM

a new study out from the Cato Institute finds that not a single state was able to improve their education outcomes by increasing the amount of taxpayer money they spent on education

But was the money spent on “education” or was it spent on salaries for teachers and administrators, stuff like IPads for second graders, and other stuff? I personally think education isn’t underfunded just funding the wrong things.

This past weekend there was a segment on Fox News about an approach in California where students were being assigned to levels of proficiency instead of grades. It sounded pretty much like the “tracking” scheme that was popular in the 70s but what do I know? Anyway, the guest against this new approach’s biggest argument was that colleges don’t teach “educators” how to run a class this way. Well, isn’t that a problem with teachers’ schools and not the approach?

Happy Nomad on March 20, 2014 at 8:32 PM

If you think the money hole that is public schools has been bad you haven’t seen anything now that almost all states have signed onto Common Core… Which is nothing more than Federal control courtesy of Bill and Melinda Gates.., of every single classroom K-12. The spending is already on steroids with it. And common core does not educate kids it trains them to be good little cogs in the progressives world…they almost admit it with their language… They never talk about educating or free thinking or questioning… It’s just training them for jobs, training them to be world citizens. Get involved now to stop it in your state… You think obamacare is bad… This is unfixable if not squashed now!!!

Caseoftheblues on March 20, 2014 at 8:06 PM

Jeb Bush says it’s all cool.

I saw my first pro-CC tv ad today, Georgia.

slickwillie2001 on March 20, 2014 at 8:33 PM

What the chart is missing is the astronomical improvement in both Social Justice Education and Applying For Government Handouts!

NiteOwl on March 20, 2014 at 8:02 PM

You forgot the decrease in bullying, and awareness about the efforts of Caesar Chavez, and of course Womyns issues including birth control for first graders.

Happy Nomad on March 20, 2014 at 8:36 PM

Not to worry. Common Core will solve this!

pgrossjr on March 20, 2014 at 8:40 PM

You forgot the decrease in bullying, and awareness about the efforts of Caesar Chavez, and of course Womyns issues including birth control for first graders.

Happy Nomad on March 20, 2014 at 8:36 PM

And now in lovely CA, you can dress in whatever dress you want, use the potty of your choice and play on any team you desire.

arnold ziffel on March 20, 2014 at 8:49 PM

And now in lovely CA, you can dress in whatever dress you want, use the potty of your choice and play on any team you desire.

arnold ziffel on March 20, 2014 at 8:49 PM

But the important thing here is that CA’s public school test scores are through the roof…….. oh wait!

Up until Obama the DoD fought back most efforts to make defense programs into social engineering. Education had the opposite experience where for decades schools have become ever increasing social services outlets that try their hand at education when they aren’t busy indoctrinating the little snowflakes to love the gays, hate bullies, think it unfair that illegals are deported and whatever else the liberal agenda demands.

Then the unions jump up and complain about funding when HS seniors graduate without the ability to do basic math or write a simple five-paragraph essay! But they know who stood up for farm workers!

Happy Nomad on March 20, 2014 at 8:57 PM

of COURSE!!!!!! WHY didn’t we THINK of THAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Has it ever occurred to you h8ers that you’re spending it wrong?

BD57 on March 20, 2014 at 8:25 PM

You Rethuglicans send your kids to private schools anyway. Who cares if kids have to bring their own toilet paper? Bambi needs more diamonds, amirite?

Axe on March 20, 2014 at 9:03 PM

They’ve been wasting money on schools since I can remember. This is about the socialists not wanting to spend money on children that they can spend on themselves.

crankyoldlady on March 20, 2014 at 9:04 PM

Happy Nomad on March 20, 2014 at 8:57 PM

The California schools have been abysmal ever since at least the 1920′s according to my great uncle who was a principal there. When I was there teaching in a Catholic school we used to get kids who had gone to public school a couple of years when their parents didn’t have the money. When they came back we had to teach them how to add and subtract all over again. The joke that was going around was about the kid who didn’t know what planet she lived on.

crankyoldlady on March 20, 2014 at 9:09 PM

You Rethuglicans send your kids to private schools anyway. Who cares if kids have to bring their own toilet paper? Bambi needs more diamonds, amirite?

Axe on March 20, 2014 at 9:03 PM

I have a suspicion that more Democrats send their kids to private school than Republicans. Has anyone done a pol?

Count to 10 on March 20, 2014 at 9:10 PM

I have a suspicion that more Democrats send their kids to private school than Republicans. Has anyone done a pol?

Count to 10 on March 20, 2014 at 9:10 PM

They want their kids to grow up to be good little ivy leaguers.

crankyoldlady on March 20, 2014 at 9:11 PM

I have a suspicion that more Democrats send their kids to private school than Republicans. Has anyone done a pol?

Count to 10 on March 20, 2014 at 9:10 PM

Hey man, you’re messing up my trolling. :) –But the big money is on the D side, for sure. I’ve never seen that stat. It would be interesting. The donor stats, the “rich man” stats, the WSJ editorial page — etc. etc. — the picture is pretty clear. But never seen private enrollment stats.

Now, you know — I’m trying to choom

Axe on March 20, 2014 at 9:14 PM

What’s most important is that teachers have enough time off to carry protest signs in recall elections of Republican governors, or possibly stand around with different signs while an Abortion Barbie does her best to circumvent the will of 68% of her state’s populace.

There are many, many things teachers do in this country besides prepping your little brats for Not Being Left Behind.

H8ers

Pless1foEngrish on March 20, 2014 at 9:28 PM

The joke that was going around was about the kid who didn’t know what planet she lived on.

crankyoldlady on March 20, 2014 at 9:09 PM

Hey, to be fair during my two stints of living in Los Angeles, I often asked myself what planet I was living on. Somebody told me that I would sorely miss living in SoCal the minute I left. It’s been decades and don’t miss it. Not even a little bit.

Happy Nomad on March 20, 2014 at 9:29 PM

Axe on March 20, 2014 at 9:03 PM

Trying to fill the lose of Bishop?

Barred on March 20, 2014 at 9:30 PM

lose> loss

Barred on March 20, 2014 at 9:32 PM

I have a suspicion that more Democrats send their kids to private school than Republicans. Has anyone done a pol?

Count to 10 on March 20, 2014 at 9:10 PM

Good stats on private schools here.

I think you can safely assume that Dems don’t send their kids to Christian schools, and probably not religious Jewish schools either.

Look under the non-sectarian listing.

Pless1foEngrish on March 20, 2014 at 9:34 PM

I have a suspicion that more Democrats send their kids to private school than Republicans. Has anyone done a pol?

Count to 10 on March 20, 2014 at 9:10 PM

Has anybody done a pol? You mean besides Monica Lewinski and Donna Rice? I’m guessing the answer is yes. ;0

Seriously, the Obamas could have sent their kids to public school but instead are sending them to a school where tuition runs 40K/year. Then Obama denies even school choice to the suckers stuck in DC Public Schools.

Happy Nomad on March 20, 2014 at 9:34 PM

Trying to fill the lose of Bishop?

Barred on March 20, 2014 at 9:30 PM

. . . he wasn’t even here to see. I hooked one. I hardly ever hook one. He would have been so proud. You know, back in the day, he hooked me? I still remember. I was embarrassed and ticked.

. . . good times.

Axe on March 20, 2014 at 9:35 PM

I think you can safely assume that Dems don’t send their kids to Christian schools, and probably not religious Jewish schools either.

Pless1foEngrish on March 20, 2014 at 9:34 PM

The Obama brats go to a school run by the Quakers.

Happy Nomad on March 20, 2014 at 9:35 PM

Hey, to be fair during my two stints of living in Los Angeles, I often asked myself what planet I was living on. Somebody told me that I would sorely miss living in SoCal the minute I left. It’s been decades and don’t miss it. Not even a little bit.

Happy Nomad on March 20, 2014 at 9:29 PM

True. I guess it is a different planet. I liked it there and would have liked to go back but I would like to go back 40 years ago. Now is a different matter.

crankyoldlady on March 20, 2014 at 9:38 PM

Axe on March 20, 2014 at 9:35 PM

Bishop will never read this.

Bmore on March 20, 2014 at 9:52 PM

New study, new confirmation that dumping money into schools doesn’t fix them

Rumor has it that the Pope is…Catholic!!!

Wildlife has been seen recycling waste into compost…in the Woods!!!

Barack Obama is the smartest person who ever lived…until 2016, when we all become sexist instead of racist.

/sarc

If taxpayers really counted up the monies spent on edjimikation in this country, they’d burn the local schools down. The best way to bust the Dem party is school vouchers – that’s what our grandkids will know brought down the liberal party in this country: school choice

DublOh7 on March 20, 2014 at 10:03 PM

Before I buy this completely, were the expeditures scaled on a per student basis? That would be the real statistical proof — not that more money was put into the system, but that more money was put into the system per student. There is a difference — a subtle one, I’ll admit, but you can better understand it by thinking about the minimum money you would have to spend if the student population doubled. Looking at money per student completely eliminates having to know the population at each point in the curve in order to scale it properly.

Oh, never mind, the explaination on the bottom of the chart says it better than that — it is indeed not only adjusted for student population, but the money is adjusted for inflation too.

Oh boy. And that’s why Catholic schools in LA are able to send a greater proportion of their kids to college with per pupil expenditures which are approximately one half that of LAUSD’s per pupil expenditures.

Someone is not getting their moneys’ worth.

unclesmrgol on March 20, 2014 at 10:15 PM

The Obama brats go to a school run by the Quakers.
Happy Nomad on March 20, 2014 at 9:35 PM

Where today they enjoyed the following for lunch:
Soup du Jour
Rainbow Chopped Salad
Sweet Wheatberry Salad
All Natural Chicken & Asiago Pasta
Mushroom, Spinach and White Bean Pasta
Broccoli with Lemon Zest
Red grapes

Mmmmm

ImmigrantsWife on March 20, 2014 at 10:16 PM

This may be a bit long, but it may give some an insight into the problem.

I am a retired teacher for which I am sure my district was very happy the current state of being.
My teaching career is unique in the areas of certification and experience. I am certified from K-6 in elementary education, 1-12 in special education in areas of mental retardation and learning disabilities, and 7-12 in composite social studies. My experience expands from second grade to adult education. In addition I have served on, or chaired a number of key committees from advisor to the superintendent to the parent teacher association. For several years I administrated summer day camps for children with learning physical disabilities. Much to my shame today, I also served as the chairman of the NEA union negotiating committee. I secured three very successful teacher contracts, but once I saw the underbelly of the politics, I refused to sell my morals to it. The last half of my career was as a member of a non-negotiating teachers union. Sadly to say a union is necessary because teaching is political. If there is no protection between you and administrators who are looking for a scrape goat to cover their back sides or playing favorites, or just decide they don’t like your politics, meaning you not willing to go along with the liberal crowd, you are the first to be screwed over.

Unfortunately I was usually in that last boat. Long before I retired I lost count of the number of half-baked liberal ideas and programs that I killed at the district level. My range of certification and experience made it hard to refute my logical as being uninformed. When they saw an opportunity to push me into a medical retirement, they spared no effort to make it so.

How they did that does supports what is wrong with our education system and why the federal government and their dollars need to be out of the business of education and leave it to the states where it belongs.

In my final semester they moved me to a low level special education self-contained classroom. I was familiar with most of my students and understood their frustration of being taught at what is kindergarten curriculum today and it was mandated by the federally directed IEP, which is the plan for what they can be taught in the next 12 months.

My belief is that as a teacher I should actually teach and that my teaching should reflect the ability of my students to learn. This is probably why most of my high school students would say to me and others, even to their children later, that I was the only teacher that really taught them anything.

I did two things that got me into a lot of trouble in that last semester. First I used peer teaching. Peer teaching is one of the most successful time test methods of teaching. It involves allowing students to learn not only from their mistakes but the mistakes of their peers and to be rewarded by success. All it takes is group understanding that making a mistake is okay and that if you do your best, it’s okay to if you fail. My part was to give the individual student a problem that was challenging, but possible for them to complete. Liberal education policy forbids anything that might expose a student to failure or damage self-esteem.

The second and even greater mistake was I teaching them to do more than to add and subtract one or two simple numbers as the federally mandated limitation said was all I could teach them. I taught them to add, subtract and multiply with carry and borrow multi digit numbers and long division My students felt like they were for once learning something, like the other kids. My principal was not impressed. There would be problems the next time they did an annual review with the parents and federal auditors.

For doing this I was punished and required to take a retraining program for teacher who could not teach. Imagine that, I refused and chose to just retire instead since it was going to be a necessity in the near future.
Thankfully on the regular education side I taught world history. It was a safe subject because the feds did not mandate the state to have a standard test for it. My colleagues in American history were not so fortunate. They had to teach to that test and do it to the lowest student in the class because the pass fail numbers determined if they had a job or not. Every minute had to be used to get those passing numbers. If it was not likely to be on the next test, based on past test it was not taught. That included those lesson they used to teach to make their lesson more interesting and fun. This was the same in all the academic classes.
I was paid one summer to analysis past test to determine what parts of American History should be covered. In this way the federal government controls what history the students are taught. I was surprised by what was left out and where the emphasis was concentrated.

I shudder to think how difficult it would be to teach my government or economic classes today. Almost everything would be the text says this, but this is the way it is now or that is not how it is done anymore, and try and justify what I am saying with liberal and socialist ideology.

If you give administrators money they will spend every nickel of it to insure they get more and if there are strings attached they will grab every one of them and follow the dictates to insure the money keeps coming. After a while they are dependent on the money, sort of in the same way welfare works. This is what the Federal government wants. Its money for education, but it rarely is used to improve education by reducing class sizes and giving teachers time to plan and evaluate what is being taught and what is being learned. There are bad teachers. I met many of them. There are many that are just average, I met a lot of them, and there are teachers that are awesome, and they are the ones that are dragged down by the liberal socialist idea that everyone has to be the same.

As long as I am on the subject, one of the most consistent problems I saw was administrator and the piled high and deep PHD’s implementing programs based on results obtained in the early education classrooms where the cute kids are. They then believe that it works the same at the higher levels. The logic that there is a difference always seemed to escape them. The other observation is that most of those in charge of our education systems have not been a public classroom since they graduated from high school. In my state that was around 80%. Most district administrators are clueless about what a classroom environment is like, and principals are more concerned with the numbers their evaluations are based on. Teachers that pass everyone are golden as far as their job is concerned and they can be the worse teacher on campus.

Franklyn on March 20, 2014 at 11:48 PM

New study, new confirmation that dumping money into schools doesn’t fix them

Of course not-increased spending for “education” is just another form of money-laundering. Kids and teachers still do without stuff in many places that one would think would be automatic…like books, lab supplies, classroom supplies, etc. But the top priority is to make damn sure that school board members, superintendents and principals get taken care of.

Teachers that pass everyone are golden as far as their job is concerned and they can be the worse teacher on campus.

Franklyn on March 20, 2014 at 11:48 PM

Yes, the popularity contest thing. Looking back, the teachers I learned the most from didn’t play around with you and try to be your pal.

Oh, and you’re wasting your breath here. Most seem to think that teachers are dumbasses (unless they teach in private or Catholic schools of course, well, they’re still dumbasses but at least they aren’t sucking off of the “government teat”, aren’t unionized and can be fired at any time for any reason) and that formal education is a waste of time and that everyone should become welders, join the Army or open up restaurants or some other kind of business.

Oh, and any dumbass teacher who thinks having 30+ kids in a class is a whiner and should be fired.

So education gets spit-roasted by both groups-smug Liberals and their Commie allies in Academia and Washington on one end, and on the other the smug Blue Collar Conservatives who think that if something doesn’t relate directly to increasing wealth it’s evil and a waste of time.

Dr. ZhivBlago on March 21, 2014 at 12:03 AM

Its money for education, but it rarely is used to improve education by reducing class sizes and giving teachers time to plan and evaluate what is being taught and what is being learned. There are bad teachers. I met many of them. There are many that are just average, I met a lot of them, and there are teachers that are awesome, and they are the ones that are dragged down by the liberal socialist idea that everyone has to be the same.

As a (conservative) teacher in one of the bluest parts of California, THANK YOU.

Are many of my colleagues liberal whackadoos? He!! yes. But most, if not all of them, want to do well by their kids, even the ones who are feeling burned out or aren’t great at classroom management. Every year it feels like we work harder with fewer resources and less support from administration (and that’s where I appreciate local union support. Local. CTA and NEA can go jump off a cliff).

The number one problem is parents who don’t give a crap about their kids and/or expect teachers to be parents and babysitters and counselors and/or refuse to admit their kid has problems, and kids who have severe emotional problems because of how they’ve been raised (or haven’t). I work in a low-SES school where most of the teachers are white… a couple times a month I hear that one of my coworkers had a parent accuse them of being racist.

I can deal with the politics and the testing and I can work around Common Core. But if a kid doesn’t have active, responsible parents in his or her life, no amount of money is going to fix the problem.

(By the way, since California passed Prop 30, which was supposed to increase school funding, my school’s actually seen its budget slashed. That’s partly because Brown and his cronies also changed things around so that more money is under district, rather than school, control. And the district is spending it on things like consultants, speakers, and redesigning school logos.)

salmonczar on March 21, 2014 at 1:33 AM

Oh, and you’re wasting your breath here. Most seem to think that teachers are dumbasses (unless they teach in private or Catholic schools of course, well, they’re still dumbasses but at least they aren’t sucking off of the “government teat”, aren’t unionized and can be fired at any time for any reason) and that formal education is a waste of time and that everyone should become welders, join the Army or open up restaurants or some other kind of business.

Sadly, this is true. I always cringe before reading the comments in education stories on HA for this very reason. Just because teachers unions are run by liberals doesn’t mean all teachers fall under that category.

I think what’s hard for a lot of people is the subjective nature of teaching. We all know in our hearts what makes a good teacher, but IMO it’s impossible to quantify that. We all want bad teachers fired, but what makes a teacher bad? In my first position my principal chastised me for not being “mean enough” to my kindergarteners (her words). A colleague was called out for having low test scores, but a third of her kids had serious learning disabilities and another five hardly ever came to school. And who decides if a teacher is bad? The administrator, who is usually playing politics herself.

I like to point out to people that we don’t judge if a dentist is any good by the number of patients who come to him with cavities. It’s the dentist’s job to fill in and polish up, to give advise and instruction and tools for the future. But the dentist can’t follow me home and force me to floss.

salmonczar on March 21, 2014 at 1:41 AM

Don’t expect this to halt the advocacy from progressives for more money for education. Proper reforms focus on how current spending levels are distributed – not just pouring more into the hole.

That is absolutely true and it is equally true at the college level which has experienced even greater increases percentage wise..

burt on March 21, 2014 at 6:19 AM

The second and even greater mistake was I teaching them to do more than to add and subtract one or two simple numbers as the federally mandated limitation said was all I could teach them. I taught them to add, subtract and multiply with carry and borrow multi digit numbers and long division My students felt like they were for once learning something, like the other kids. My principal was not impressed. There would be problems the next time they did an annual review with the parents and federal auditors.

Franklyn on March 20, 2014 at 11:48 PM

I ran into something like this on the parent side. My oldest daughter has always been very sharp. One Saturday, when she was in 1st grade, she came to me and complained that she was bored. Knowing that they were studying adding numbers, I decided to show her how to carry and how that worked with multiple digits. Within an hour, she was adding multiple sets of numbers that were all in the millions… AND GETTING THEM RIGHT!

She went to school and showed her teacher. I received a note the next day telling me to stop teaching my child because she was already ahead of the others. That was when I learned to detest the system that nearly all my relatives had taught in.

A few years later… we pulled our other three kids out of school and homeschooled them, all the way through high school. Our oldest decided to remain in public school because she had too many friends there.

Our relatives and our oldest criticized our decision to homeschool the others (at their request)… until my son (who was comparable in school ability with my oldest daughter) finished homeschool, took the ACT (Ohio’s SAT alternate), and beat my daughter by 6 points on a 36 point test! No one criticized our decision to homeschool after that.

dominigan on March 21, 2014 at 7:47 AM

Sadly, this is true. I always cringe before reading the comments in education stories on HA for this very reason. Just because teachers unions are run by liberals doesn’t mean all teachers fall under that category.

I think what’s hard for a lot of people is the subjective nature of teaching. We all know in our hearts what makes a good teacher, but IMO it’s impossible to quantify that. We all want bad teachers fired, but what makes a teacher bad? In my first position my principal chastised me for not being “mean enough” to my kindergarteners (her words). A colleague was called out for having low test scores, but a third of her kids had serious learning disabilities and another five hardly ever came to school. And who decides if a teacher is bad? The administrator, who is usually playing politics herself.

I like to point out to people that we don’t judge if a dentist is any good by the number of patients who come to him with cavities. It’s the dentist’s job to fill in and polish up, to give advise and instruction and tools for the future. But the dentist can’t follow me home and force me to floss.

salmonczar on March 21, 2014 at 1:41 AM

I criticize teachers for remaining in a system that ties their hands together. Like feudalism in the Middle Ages, they give away their freedom so that unions can protect them against power hungry administrators (which are the real drain on school dollars). But then they whine because they are treated like the serfs they sold themselves out to be to a feudal lord that treats them all the same even though classrooms of students change year to year. I’ve advocated to teachers before that they could self manage like in the private business world, where we set our goals with our managers and rate ourselves with our managers at the end, but they don’t seem to understand that concept and go running back for more abuse at the hands of their protective masters.

I know… most of my relatives are teachers, and I’ve gotten into plenty of arguments over this. Unions help further divide teachers against administrators instead of uniting them in a common passion for educating students.

The non-union approach would address the exact problem you mentioned, by allowing teachers working with administrators to set personal goals based on the conditions of the classroom they were teaching that year… and then measure themselves at the end of the year. But teachers just give me this blank look that something so basic in our private business world could even function. And then I just sigh, wondering how such intelligent people could be so clueless about how the real world works… and why they are even allowed to educate impressionable kids… sigh…

dominigan on March 21, 2014 at 7:56 AM

When do we get the study that water flows downhill?

Axeman on March 21, 2014 at 9:35 AM

iPads, laptops, desktops, “bring your own device” and education programs, lets spend money and throw technology at the problem, that will fix EvErYtHiNg.

At least where I’m at.

Farnsworth on March 21, 2014 at 9:38 AM

Money can’t fix schools. Only families with fathers can fix schools.

Trey

TMink on March 21, 2014 at 9:55 AM

. I’ve advocated to teachers before that they could self manage like in the private business world, where we set our goals with our managers and rate ourselves with our managers at the end,

There’s actually been a move towards that at the school level, but if you have a poor manager (right now I’m working with a first-year principal who micromanages half the time and delegates to incompetents the other half) or even simply one with a different philosophy of teaching, it doesn’t work. In my experience, the local union’s focus has been on making sure that the admin and the district stay within the contract that they signed, which I don’t think is a bad thing.

We become teachers because we love kids and we love learning. We ‘whine’ when we come up against barriers that harm or hinder kids and their ability to succeed, whether they come from the school or the home. Getting rid of unions completely (as opposed to altering the unions’ role) OR throwing buckets of money at the problem are not solutions.

salmonczar on March 21, 2014 at 10:40 AM

Money can’t fix schools. Only families with fathers can fix schools.

Amen.

salmonczar on March 21, 2014 at 10:41 AM

Take the federal government out of the education in the schools. Billions of dollars are being spent in the DOE for what cause? The States have their own DOE’s, the Counties have their own DOE’s, each school district has their own DOE’s; it’s a case of too many chiefs and not enough indians.

mixplix on March 21, 2014 at 11:15 AM

Where today they enjoyed the following for lunch:
Soup du Jour
Rainbow Chopped Salad
Sweet Wheatberry Salad
All Natural Chicken & Asiago Pasta
Mushroom, Spinach and White Bean Pasta
Broccoli with Lemon Zest
Red grapes

Mmmmm

ImmigrantsWife on March 20, 2014 at 10:16 PM

Off-topic, I know, but I can’t decide if I like Soup du Jour or not. The place I get it seems to really change the recipe from day to day.

BlueCollarAstronaut on March 21, 2014 at 11:33 AM

The only solution to failing public education is to get rid of it and go to tuition vouchers that can be used for ANY school parents want to put their kids in.

No more public schools, no more teacher unions, no more government meddling. End of problem.

earlgrey on March 21, 2014 at 11:47 AM

Money can’t fix schools. Only families with fathers can fix schools.
Amen.

salmonczar on March 21, 2014 at 10:41 AMEasy on the bigotry, you two. You mean only families with some grump who claims an easy chair, drinks beer and watches sports, right?

Axeman on March 21, 2014 at 12:54 PM