Jay Mathews points out that "According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, a national achievement test, reading and math scores for 17-year-olds have been stagnant the last 30 years" in his post Too Few Overachievers.
Which brings me to a post by Andew Young and Walter Block, Enterprising Education: Doing Away with the Public School System found at Ludwig von Mises Institute.
All the arguments in favor of a public provision of primary education prove to be unfounded and/or incorrect. The failure of the state to provide a high quality service to all (its explicit goal) has rendered public primary education illegitimate; and the immeasurable waste of resources and rejection of consumer desires has left public education borderline immoral. As well, if an educated citizenry is to be considered necessary for the operation of the republican government, then it is an inexcusable conflict of interest when elected officials are the ones in charge of providing that education. Furthermore, the argument of externalities and nonexcludability fails to buttress the case for socialist education. The only ethical, reasonable system for the provision of primary education is the free market.
Considering that public schools aren't doing a very good job of educating students one has to ask, why are they still around? Do you know any private business that could fail to deliver "the goods" for 30 years and not go bankrupt? The forecast for public schools as well as their students looks grim.
According to Ayn Rand
Of all the government undertakings, none has failed so disastrously as public education. The scope, the depth, and the evidence of this failure are observable all around us. To name three of its obvious symptoms: drug addiction among the young (which is an attempt to escape the unbearable state of a mind unable to cope with existence)--functional illiteracy (the inability of the average high-school or college graduate to speak English, i.e., to speak or write coherently)--student violence (which means that students have not learned what savages know to some minimal extent: the impracticality and immorality of resorting to physical force).In the face of such evidence, one would expect the government's performance in the field of education to be questioned, at the least, [but] the growing failures of the educational establishment are followed by the appropriation of larger and larger sums. There is, however, a practical alternative: tax credits for education.
To read more about her idea click Tax Credits for Education.
Of course as most of my readers know there is one solution to the educational woes in America, home~schooling. For homeschoolers the forecast is sunny!
Related Tags: public education, Ayn Rand, Tax Credits for Education, home schooling, home based education