Learning in K-12 is not improving. Announced last week are the latest NAEP reading scores for 4th grade--they remain unchanged—and for the 8th grade—up only one point in a year. For both subjects, scores are up only 4 points since 1992. The scores are bad news for the long-term growth of our economy. Learning is not going up but spending is. Education spending in the U.S. on K-12 has gone up from $375 per pupil to $9,305 between 1960 to 2005. It has been established for decades that more money does not mean more learning. More money is also not the solution for poor-performing schools. In the Kansas City District, judicial mandates forced Missouri state taxpayers to finance the schools well above the national average. There were Olympic-size swimming pools, Montessori schools, and performing arts schools to attract students from the suburbs. But in ten years enrollment was down by half as 18,000 students dropped out for charter schools and the suburbs. The buildings are half em
go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you;
may your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen!"