Modern public (government school) education appears to be failing our kids. Too many young people come out of our government schools knowing less than generations past. The computer age has given each student a better chance at learning than in the past. But still we have under-educated children graduating to under-educating colleges and universities!
According to a recent CATO study, The Effects of Teachers Unions on American Education by Andrew J. Coulson, we cannot blame crowded schools for this shortcoming. The fact is that the pupil-staff ratio has dropped sharply over the last few decades. In 1960 there were roughly 18 students to 1 staff member. By 2009 the numbers were down to an estimated 8 to 1 ratio. Today, each student gets more attention in a classroom than many of us did in the late 20th century.
The same study shows that by 2009 public schools had control of nearly $600 billion in annual federal education funding. That money helps keep schools functioning at a “reasonable” rate. Teachers’ unions have been the benefactors of this government education spending. To keep the money flowing, teachers’ unions lobby elected officials to maintain their cartel. Unions use lobbying tactics to also badger politicians to vote against policies such as charter schools, voucher programs, and education tax credits that could give parents and students easier access to nonunion schooling.
I have given you a short ride on the student-teacher-money train. So, where am I going with this you may ask? Well, I am presenting you with food for thought. Today, public schools have fewer students per staff member to educate. Today, public schools have a grip on more and more taxpayer money…with possible fewer choices. Yet, our kids and grandkids graduate less educated than before. That is my opinion…so think about it!