Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Is there anyone other than Richard Day who thinks that public schools are a measure of efficiency?

Richard Day, an education professor at Eastern Kentucky University, criticizes the Bluegrass Institute for financial inefficiency and contrasting it with what he apparently thinks is the efficient use of money by the public education system:
Combined fundraising and administrative costs at the Bluegrass Institute, however, exceed 50%, a level of inefficiency not seen in the public school system since the removal of the highly localized Trustee System, where an almost complete lack of government regulation led to the misuse of untold thousands of Kentucky taxpayer dollars in the early 20th century.
Now, I'm trying to fathom the level of delusion one must be under to seriously suggest that the public school system is any kind of standard when it comes to financial efficiency.

Ask yourself how much money we have spend on the education of a high school graduate. This would involve taking the annual amount we spend in state money per year per student, which is a four-figure number, adding in all the federal money and grant money that this spent on students annually in various ways, which results in a five-figure number, and multiply by twelve.

The amount you will eventually come to if you add all of this together is probably going to be well in excess of $100,000.

Then take the average person who graduates from high school in a Kentucky public school you run into every day. I run into them, and I know what I see. They mostly don't read very well or very often, they mostly can't add, subtract, multiply, or divide very well (if at all), they are almost entirely ignorant of our literary tradition, and don't know basic things about history the my generation took for granted.

Then ask yourself how an efficient system could spend this much money and get so little for it.

Whatever problems the Bluegrass Institute has, comparing it to the public education system isn't going to inspire anyone to trust your analysis.

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