Kenli Schoolland [2/3]

Even though Hawaii’s education is floundering as a state, could the national level be better?

According to School Data Direct, the national proficiency scores are incredibly substandard. Less than 40% of students in each age category are proficient in their math and reading levels.[1] It is horrible to think that less than half of the 50 million students in America are even relatively competent in their intellectual abilities.

The U.S. is now falling behind in educational competitiveness: “American 15 year-olds rank 24th out of 29 developed nations in mathematics, literacy and problem solving”.[2] America was once a leading nation in intellectual capabilities, but now it is starting to drop in comparison to other countries.

All of this is happening when the nation is spending about $9,881 per student.[1] This is even more than the Hawaii expenditure of $8,100 per student.[3] If $8,100 is not enough to educate the students of Hawaii, would almost $2,000 more do the trick? Apparently not, judging from the results. If $9,881 is not enough either, then what is the necessary price to educate America’s children?

The idea of a public school system is to provide poorer children with an opportunity to be educated. This seems like a noble idea, but the methods are not successful. If that $8,100 is not taken from families (in the form of taxes) in the first place, then the family would have that money to spend toward quality education.

One reason for the failure of the national public school system is that there is no incentive for them to improve the educational standards. Public schools do not need to earn their funding, it is promised to them from the government. The people who pay for the public education system (taxpayers) are forced to give their money to the schools whether they are good or bad.

Also, students who live in a certain area and cannot afford the available private schools are forced to attend the government ones in their district regardless of their quality. Private schools need to provide a good education in order to gain consumers (students). If parents have the choice of which schools to send their children to, then the superior schools will be rewarded, and the inferior ones would be forced to improve or go out of business.

John Stossel: Stupid in America

[1] School Data Direct: National Overview of United States Public Schools & Districts
[2] Ad Council: "What Makes People Care About Education?" -- Peggy Conlon
[3] The Heritage Foundation


Richard Galluzzi said...

In regards to the video: I agree. In a capitalist society, which has thrived based on competition and choice, why do we force students into public schools? Why do we force students into poor schools? The idea of vouchers--giving students the ability to take the money with them from a failing school and bring it to another--makes terrific sense. Poor schools will fade, the best schools will thrive. It just makes sense.

matt said...

I agree with Kenli's suggestion on how parental choice would improve the quality of schools. It seems like a good way to give schools an incentive to increase the quality of its education. When I was a kid, I got a G.E. so I could go to a better public school in another district. I don't know how hard it is to get one, but it must be otherwise the better public schools would be over populated. Overpopulation would seem to be an issue if Kenli's idea were to go in effect. However, the schools could take that reward money and hire extra teachers to offset increased class sizes. I think that it's a valid idea and could work if the government was to put in the work.

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