The origin of this article comes from a short blurb in the December 17, 2010 concern of The Week magazine. The newest survey of student school achievement, which is accomplished each three years by the Organization For Financial Cooperation and Development, found that students in Shanghai ranked first in the world in reading, science, and math. Quite a feat, to be number 1 in all three. The survey measured the education proficiency of fifteen year olds in 60 nations around the planet.
The very poor and sad news is that the United States ranked 17th in reading, 23rd in science, and 31th in math. Whilst the article did not give education expenditure data, it is a good bet that the United States ranked significantly higher in quantity of education dollars spent per student than it did in any of the 3 categories measured. If this assertion is appropriate, then we are spending a lot of taxpayer money and obtaining mediocre overall performance in return.
Which brings us to the Federal Education Division, a bureaucracy that has been about considering that 1980 and according to its government site, has a discretionary price range of about $ 49.7 billion (this does not incorporate the $ 33 billion or so of Pell grants that it administers). I guess one could make the argument that with no the Education Division, the United States would have completed worse than 17th, 23rd, and 31th.
Nonetheless, it is likely we could have completed this poorly without spending the $ 49.7 billion a year. In truth, if you appear at the Education Department website, it acknowledges that “it is crucial to point out that education in America is a state and local duty.” They admit that they are not the primary driver of education in this country but still eat up almost $ 50 billion a year just to fill a supplemental function.
Let’s do some fantasy math. What if we terminated the Education Department, what could we do with that money:
Given that there are 50 states, you could provide an annual supplemental payment to the states, that the Division fully acknowledges has the major duty for educating our children, of $ 1 billion per state to help improve their facilities and education processes.
According to the government’s National Center For Education Statistics, there are 93,295 public elementary and secondary schools in this country. If we divide this quantity of schools into the Education Department’s spending budget, every single school could theoretically receive an added $ 532,000 per school every single year to support educate America’s youth.
If we purchased the standard iPad product at Very best Buys’ present cost of $ 499.95, we could outfit over 99 million students in a single year with an iPad for themselves. Offered today’s high tech world, wouldn’t iPads (or other worthy technologies) be far better use of taxpayer funds than a 31st finish in math?
Of course, just having a piece of technology is not going to boost an education approach but envision what could take place in education with an iPad. For example, the require for books and the higher expense that goes with the school purchase of books could be diverted to hire a lot more teachers, boost school curriculums, enhance teacher coaching, and so on. because bound paper books are more high-priced than electronic digital books, a format that that could also be significantly very easily updated. And this is for only 1 year. With the technology currently purchased in year one particular, subsequent year, billions of a lot more dollars could be spent on other education wants, if we eliminated the Education Division spending budget.
If you are not into assisting boost our schools, you could divide the $ 49.7 billion by the number of U.S. households and give each household an annual check of just more than $ 400. Definitely a far better notion than 31st in math.
The point to be produced by these math calculations is that the Education Department has done such a poor job of positioning our children for success in the planet that continuing to price range and spend for this non-overall performance is a farce. How much worse could it be to take the $ 50 billion or so and try some thing new with it? Offered that the Division is supplemental, what is the worst that could happen? We fall to 32nd in math? The schools and education strategy in Shanghai is obtaining benefits, why can’t we get the Federal government out of the way and let the states locate a way to mimic what Shanghai is certainly performing correct and our Education Department is naturally not undertaking at all?
Even though reading about our poor efficiency as a nation academically, it appears that an additional Federal agency, the Department of Energy, is also a total failure when it comes to its charter. Even though it has been more than 30 years since the traumatic energy crises of the 1970s, we as a nation are not closer to getting a strategic, workable, and rationale national energy strategy today than we were when the Department of Energy was formed decades ago.
Think about it: name 1 success story from the Division of Power that you can come up with without doing some serious research? We still have no national power policy. I can think of no significant project, plan, or technology that the Division funded with our taxpayer funds that has born fruit, either with more affordable power, better power, or significantly less reliance on foreign power sources.
If you look at their Federal website,you see that the Division Of Energy’s annual budget is about $ 28 billion, of which just more than $ 11 billion of that is for Defense Division research. If you took that $ 11 billion and moved it and its staff into the Defense Department, you could dump the remaining parts of the Division Of Power and save the taxpayers just more than $ 17 billion a year. This would give an annual tax reduction of about $ 150 for every U.S. household. What would you rather have: $ 150 in your pocket or just one more government bureaucracy that did nothing at all it was supposed to do?
These are the kinds of questions that want to be asked as the nation faces this extraordinary and looming budget crisis of skyrocketing national debt. Just due to the fact we usually had a government plan, does not imply we require to continue to have these programs. An Education Department that fails at education and a Division of Power that fails at energy are not great reasons to continue to have them. Greater to attempt somethng diverse and significantly less expensive. Again, how significantly worse could it get when it comes to these two monstrosities?
Just because something exists nowadays does not mean it has to exist tomorrow. Lehman Brothers, Bear Sterns, Montgomery Ward, Service Merchandise, American Motors, Studebaker, GTE, ITT, the Iron Curtain, the Soviet Union, etc. all existed and are now all gone. Given this historical point of view, obtaining rid of a mere Cabinet Division or two should be no massive deal, especially the ones that are high-priced and ineffective, the lead to for the demise of these previous giants in their respective fields.