Tuesday, September 16, 2003

U.S. No. 1 in School Spending, Not Scores

We're always hearing the Democrats and the teachers' unions complain about the meagreness of the resources they have to make do with in carrying out their duties, so this bit of news makes for particularly interesting reading:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The United States spends more public and private money on education than other major countries, but its performance doesn't measure up in areas ranging from high-school graduation rates to test scores in math, reading and science, a new report shows.

``There are countries which don't get the bang for the bucks, and the U.S. is one of them,'' said Barry McGaw, education director for the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which produced the annual review of industrialized nations.

The United States spent $10,240 per student from elementary school through college in 2000, according to the report. The average was $6,361 among more than 25 nations.

Yet the United States finished in the middle of the pack in its 15-year-olds' performance on math, reading and science in 2000, and its high-school graduation rate was below the international average in 2001 -- figures highlighted by Education Secretary Rod Paige.

Now, what was that about needing more money again?