2/3 Wis. 8th Graders Not Proficient

John Seiler:

Wisconsin teachers have been on strike. And they object to Gov. Scott Walker’s move to end or limit collective bargaining. They’re also the highest-paid teachers in the Midwest.

So, how well are they teaching? This is from CNS News:

Two-thirds of the eighth graders in Wisconsin public schools cannot read proficiently according to the U.S. Department of Education, despite the fact that Wisconsin spends more per pupil in its public schools than any other state in the Midwest.

In the National Assessment of Educational Progress tests administered by the U.S. Department of Education in 2009—the latest year available—only 32 percent of Wisconsin public-school eighth graders earned a “proficient” rating while another 2 percent earned an “advanced” rating. The other 66 percent of Wisconsin public-school eighth graders earned ratings below “proficient,” including 44 percent who earned a rating of “basic” and 22 percent who earned a rating of “below basic.”

The test also showed that the reading abilities of Wisconsin public-school eighth graders had not improved at all between 1998 and 2009 despite a significant inflation-adjusted increase in the amount of money Wisconsin public schools spent per pupil each year.

Here’s an idea. Shutter the government schools. Send the kids home. End truancy laws. Cut taxes. Give the money back to parents. Let them school their own kids how they see fit.

Why not have a complete free-market in education as we do, say, for computers, cell phones and other things that drop in price every year while increasing in quality?

Test scores will soar. They couldn’t possibly do worse than under the current government system.

Feb. 23, 2011

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  1. David from Oceanside
    David from Oceanside 24 February, 2011, 08:24

    Government props up the United Auto Workers with their bail out of GM just as they bail out the National Education Association with the funding of public schools. Both the UAW and the NEA have extracted such a high cost and restricted productivity to such an extent that neither can compete in the free market.

    There is a long and ugly history of government and unions jumping into bed together and many myths of the benefits of unions taught in government schools. One such myth is that unions ended the evil capitalist’s practice of child labor. They did not. The practice of child labor ended because of productivity gains and not unions.

    In third world countries where productivity is very low and child labor was outlawed under pressure from the west, two things happened as a result. An increase of child prostitution and starvation.

    Productivity gains through better communications, increased machinery and automation, stable political environment, industrial engineering advances and free markets are the cause of higher wages and better working conditions, not unions.

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