You may recall that Governor Romney has stated a few times in different ways that the problem we have in educating our children has nothing to do with a teacher shortage. If you listen to Mr. Obama, he would have us all believe that is precisely the problem. Well, let’s stick to the facts. The following is an excerpt from The Imaginary Teacher Shortage from yesterday’s WSJ:
For decades we have tried to boost academic outcomes by hiring more teachers, and we have essentially nothing to show for it. In 1970, public schools employed 2.06 million teachers, or one for every 22.3 students, according to the U.S. Department of Education’s Digest of Education Statistics. In 2012, we have 3.27 million teachers, one for every 15.2 students.
Yet math and reading scores for 17-year-olds have remained virtually unchanged since 1970, according to the U.S. Department of Education’s National Assessment of Educational Progress. The federal estimate of high-school graduation rates also shows no progress (with about 75% of students completing high school then and now). Unless the next teacher-hiring binge produces something that the last several couldn’t, there is no reason to expect it to contribute to student outcomes.
We need to return education and the teaching of our children to the local levels and take it away from the fabulously inefficient federal government. Why do we keep throwing good money after bad?
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