It’s been said that knowledge is power and that education is the key to our future. That may be true, but why is it that we, as a country, spend more and more on public education and are seeing less and less return on our investment? The politicians look at the sorry state of our public schools (particularly in large urban areas) and automatically think that we need to increase the budget for public education. We are spending well over $10K per student in America, yet national test scores do not reflect the fact that we’re spending more than ever for education with little or no results.
Why such dismal results from public education? The simple answer is that government is woefully inefficient at educating our children. That’s the answer for everything the government does. Whenever the government gets involved in something, you can rest assured that costs will rise and results will drop. The next question is why do government schools typically fail in educating our children? Here the answer is a little more complex. The factors involved in the failure of government schools include: Lack of fair competition with other education options; barriers preventing more options for educating our children; “one size fits all” methodology for education; teachers unions that prevent the removal of bad teachers and also artificially raise the cost of educating children by demanding higher than market value salaries; corruption at all levels of the education bureaucracy; etc. All of these factors (and more) add to the failure of government run education to adequately prepare our children for the future.