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Old 11-02-2008, 09:32 AM  
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Abolish the Dept of Education

They are useless and a waste of taxpayer money.

http://www.lewrockwell.com/grichar/grichar38.html

The U.S. Department of Education, created as a political payoff to the National Education Association by former President Jimmy Carter, is a sewer for taxpayers’ money and ought to be abolished outright. Since then, although a few politicians – notably former President Ronald Reagan – have paid sporadic lip service to abolishing this useless organization, most have pushed for additions to its budget in order to curry favor with NEA members at election time.

With a budget that was at $35.7 billion in fiscal year 2001, the Bush Administration, in league with Sen. Ted Kennedy, has managed to push up that total to a whopping $64.3 billion proposed for fiscal year (fy) 2005, an increase of over 80% in just four years! Actual spending for the current fy 2004 will total $62.8 billion.

Instead, the whole department should be abolished, saving taxpayers $62.8 billion in the next fiscal year and even higher amounts in out-years.

The "Public Edu-Scam"

Apparently most Americans are either too stupid and/or too emotional to see through the "Public Edu-Scam" being perpetrated on them by the NEA and its lickspittles.

In private industry, a worker earns higher pay by being more productive, that is, by turning out more product or output for his or her employer with the same level of effort. And that output is generally of the same or higher quality that is consistent with consumer demands, and consumers freely purchase the product or service.

Public education is totally different. First of all, citizens are forced to pay for it via taxes, based upon the dubious notion that what economists call "positive externalities" or "positive social benefits" accrue to society, and not just the individual, from a person receiving an education. What this phony positive externality argument suggests is that left to the private sector, individuals would not invest enough in their own or their children’s education and that there is a rationale for government intervention in the market for education. What the public education lobby claims is that all of us benefit from being taxed to educate even dumb, intellectually lazy or incorrigible students, and that some vague benefits accrue to the rest of society from pouring ever-increasing amounts of taxpayer funds down this rathole; that is, into a bad investment.

That these so-called benefits are never quantified in a rigorous manner should make one suspect whether any such claimed benefits even exist. And that is the only rationale for the forced taxpayer provision of education. There are certainly no other rational economic arguments for the forced provision of public education. It makes one wonder how the U.S. and other developed nations made such tremendous economic and social progress prior to the creation of massive public school bureaucracies.

Add to that the nonsense about classroom size and the rest of the education babble that is used to snow taxpayers into ponying up more good money on top of bad money. It seems that public education is one of the main areas where a worker gets a raise for turning out fewer products (a lower level of students per teacher via smaller classroom sizes) and of a lower quality (look at the drop in SAT scores prior to the recent rigging of the SAT numbers to make recent test takers look more intelligent).

And look at pay levels for those teaching in private K-12 schools versus those in the public school establishment. Private teachers on average earn less money than public school teachers, but it is common knowledge that children in private schools get a better education, on average, than those in public schools. Thus, it is readily apparent that public school teacher pay levels have little, if anything, to do with the quality of a child’s education, contrary to what the NEA and edu-crats at all levels of government claim.

The Results

Despite having spent hundreds of billions of dollars over the last 25+ years, U.S. Department of Education programs can at best be said to have improved the results of all education in the United States only marginally, and these numbers include students educated in private schools. In addition, one would have to include all public and private school expenditures – which registered into the trillions over the last 25+ years, to give a better idea of what spending on education achieved.

Take a look at the long-term trend results from the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP), an ongoing Education Department program that supposedly measures educational achievement by fourth and eight graders and also measures results for students aged 9, 13, and 17, over a long period of time. The results of the long-term trend tests are not comparable with other NAEP annual tests, which have varied in content over the years so that no inter-year comparisons can be easily made.

Results for the long-term trend tests are interesting. For 17 year olds, in mathematics, the average score from 1978 through 1999 improved only 0.1% per year. The median score improved by the same percentage. And the mathematics test allows students to use calculators for some questions, an implicit acknowledgment of the decline in mathematical abilities of students. In reading, the average score from 1978 through 1999 for 17 year olds improved a minuscule 0.04% per year, with the median rising even less per year. And in science, the average score for 17 years olds rose 0.09% per year from 1978 through 1999.

Regarding international comparisons, results are available only for mathematics and science for 8th graders and for reading for 4th graders, and these results cannot be compared to the long-term trend results for U.S. students. For mathematics, the latest results are for 1999, with students from Singapore getting a standardized score of 604 compared to 502 for U.S. students who took the test. In Science, Taiwanese students gained the top spot, with a score of 569, compared to the U.S. score of 515. In reading, results are only available for 4th graders for 2001, with the U.S. doing a lot better in a relative sense, with a score of 542 compared to 561 for students from Sweden. It would have been interesting to see what kind of results would have been obtained had 17 year olds in all the countries been given the tests.

Rationale for giving the NAEP tests is that traditional testing and grading of students does not measure their academic progress and that more frequent testing is needed to highlight the need for further programs (you get to pay more, via higher taxes) to bring students up to expected levels of achievement. In other words, teachers in public schools give passing grades to those who really did not learn the subject matter. Otherwise, actual testing and grading would reflect student achievement.

Note further that the NEA and public edu-crats want to avoid using the results of the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) to show whether or not student performance has improved. They complain that the SAT only measures the aptitude of those wanting to go to college. And several years ago public edu-crats managed to convince the firm that develops and administers the test to change it so as to make it easier for students to get higher scores, a way of trying to change the yardstick that in the past has shown what a poor job public schools have done in educating children despite the huge sums being spent at both the federal and state and local levels of government.

How the Education Department Wastes Money

The proposed federal Education Department budget for fy 2005 is $64.3 billion, with more hair-brained programs than you can shake a stick at. A lot of them are grants to states and local school boards which lead to the hiring of more school administrators, the real growth industry in public education and the area where an edu-crat can earn higher pay than by just being a teacher. Here are some of the larger programs in the budget: 1) $14.3 billion for education for the disadvantaged, which encompasses grants to schools to help raise the achievement levels in high-poverty area schools to meet challenging state academic standards (as if the state standards were challenging!); 2) $6.6 billion for school improvement programs, including improvement of teacher quality, early childhood education, improving math and science education, for state-wide education assessments, and more money for educating students in poor areas; 3) $10.8 billion for grants to schools for special education programs, which encompass a wide variety of funding for different classes for special needs students (that is, hiring more teachers); 4) $3.0 billion for rehabilitation services and disability research, to help the disabled live independent lives; 5) $2.0 billion for grants for vocational and adult education, primarily in the areas of eliminating adult illiteracy (for those whom the public schools failed to train properly in the first place!) and for helping students acquire skills for getting jobs and getting through college; 6) $2.1 billion for higher education, including the improvement of academic programs by strengthening institutions (more administrators, at pumped-up salaries), helping those from disadvantaged backgrounds get into and through college, support for tribally (i.e., American Indians) controlled vocational and technical schools; and, 7) $15 billion for Pell grants, that is, direct scholarships to college students; 8) $6.3 billion for the net interest subsidy on college student loans.

Federal subsidies to college students – whether via student loans or Pell grants – do not necessarily bring brighter students into colleges. It mainly serves to pump up the demand for college education, an indirect subsidy to professors’ salaries. Let those students who want a college education, but cannot initially afford it, work and save for it. Such people invariably turn out to be much better students as they are motivated to work hard in the academic environment to get a college degree.

Given the hundreds of billions of dollars spent by the Department of Education over the last 25+ years and the dismal results, abolishing it would not harm the quality of education, public or private, in the United States.

And the Cut-o-meter Total is .... $259 billion!

By abolishing the Education Department, estimated annual savings to the taxpayer would amount to nearly $63 billion over current levels and would raise the Cut-o-meter to $259 billion. annually over current spending levels.


April 14, 2004

Jim Grichar (aka Exx-Gman) [send him mail], formerly an economist with the federal government, writes to "un-spin" the federal government's attempt to con the public. He teaches economics part-time at a community college and provides economic consulting services to the private sector.

Copyright © 2004 LewRockwell.com
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Old 11-02-2008, 09:44 AM   #2
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I guess since you've posted this over here now, I'll move my comments over here too.

For people's information:

Quote:
Originally Posted by SHTSPRAYER
What does the Dept of Education do?
Not enough, but here:

Total 2009 Budget $59.2 billion (Compare with 2008 DOD budget + Iraq/Afghanistan $1 trillion, or the ED budget is .05 percent of the DOD budget, the biggest such disparity in the world.)

Key priorities in the 2009 budget include the following:

$14.3 billion, an increase of $406 million or 2.9 percent, for a reauthorized Title I Grants to Local Educational Agencies program that would more fairly distribute Title I resources to the high school level, strengthen assessment and accountability in our high schools, provide more choices to students and parents, and encourage more effective restructuring of chronically low-performing schools. The 2009 request is an increase of $5.5 billion, or 63 percent, over the 2001 level.

$491.3 million, the same as the 2008 level, for a reauthorized Title I School Improvement Grants program that would help build State and local capacity to identify and implement effective interventions to turn around low-performing schools. The rapid growth in funding for this program, from the initial fiscal year 2007 appropriation of $125 million, is justified by the increase in the number of schools identified for fundamental restructuring reforms.

$1 billion for Reading First State Grants, an increase of $607 million, to restore funding for this program that has proven its effectiveness in using research-based instructional methods to improve the reading skills of students in high-poverty, low- performing elementary schools.

$800 million for a reauthorized 21st Century Learning Opportunities program (replacing 21st Century Community Learning Centers) that would transform the current program into a scholarship fund enabling poor students in low-performing schools to enroll in high-quality after-school and summer school programs aimed at increasing student achievement.

$300 million for Pell Grants for Kids, a new K-12 scholarship program that would allow low-income students attending schools in restructuring or that have high dropout rates to transfer to local private schools or out-of-district public schools.

$200 million for the Teacher Incentive Fund, an increase of $102.7 million, to encourage States and school districts to reform compensation plans to reward principals and teachers who raise student achievement, close achievement gaps, and work in hard-to-staff schools.

$175 million, an increase of $131.5 million, for programs aimed at improving math and science instruction in K-12 schools as part of the President's American Competitiveness Initiative.

$11.3 billion for Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part B Grants to States, an increase of $337 million that would maintain the Federal contribution toward meeting the excess cost of special education at about 17 percent of the national average per pupil expenditure (APPE). Under the request, combined NCLB and IDEA funding would total $36.9 billion in 2009, an increase of $12.1 billion, or 49 percent, since 2001.

$16.9 billion for Pell Grants, an increase of $2.6 billion that, together with mandatory funds, would raise the maximum Pell Grant award to $4,800. The request level reflects an increase in total Pell Grant funding since 2001 of $10.1 billion, or 116 percent, that funded a 28 percent increase in the maximum award, from $3,750 to $4,800, and a 33 percent increase in recipients, from 4.3 million to 5.8 million

http://www.ed.gov/about/overview/bud...-section1.html

Plus, obviously, the Federal Student loan programs for college.

Now answer my question.
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Old 11-02-2008, 09:45 AM   #3
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Reposting my question

Quote:
Originally Posted by banyon
Do you think we are in a globally competitive marketplace for labor?
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Old 11-02-2008, 09:52 AM   #4
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Without education, we'll all turn out like KCJohnny. Keep the department -- for our children's sake.
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Old 11-02-2008, 09:56 AM   #5
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I don't think that we should abolish the dept. of education. But I definitely think that people who are in the poverty levels shouldn't have to contribute 1 penny to it. But then again, I think folks who work 40 hours a week and inside of those levels should be tax exempt all the way around.
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Old 11-02-2008, 10:09 AM   #6
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Apparently most Americans are either too stupid and/or too emotional to see through the "Public Edu-Scam" being perpetrated on them by the NEA and its lickspittles.
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Old 11-02-2008, 10:16 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SHTSPRAYER View Post
Apparently most Americans are either too stupid and/or too emotional to see through the "Public Edu-Scam" being perpetrated on them by the NEA and its lickspittles.
Jesus.

Quote:
Originally Posted by banyon
Do you think we are in a globally competitive marketplace for labor?
Anything else you can do to avoid this question?
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Old 11-02-2008, 10:17 AM   #8
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Without education, we'll all turn out like KCJohnny. Keep the department -- for our children's sake.
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Old 11-02-2008, 10:17 AM   #9
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Do you think we are in a globally competitive marketplace for labor?

Yes.
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Old 11-02-2008, 10:22 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SHTSPRAYER View Post
Do you think we are in a globally competitive marketplace for labor?

Yes.
What percentage of Americans do you think went to college before the Department of ED? What percent now?

What other country in the world are you aware of that has its students outperforming ours that doesn't have a national education strategy and instead leaves it up to regional and municipal decision makers?
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Old 11-02-2008, 10:28 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by banyon View Post
What percentage of Americans do you think went to college before the Department of ED? What percent now?
More people with degrees did nothing more than make a college degree worth what a HS diploma was twenty years ago.

We can't all become lawyers, you know.




What other country in the world are you aware of that has its students outperforming ours that doesn't have a national education strategy and instead leaves it up to regional and municipal decision makers

That's a stupid question. You are actually atributing the outperfromance of other countries vs US students to the fact that they have a federal beauracracy?

I think there are plenty of other factors that contribute to their successful achievement and our dismal undera achievement.

The proposed federal Education Department budget for fy 2005 is $64.3 billion, with more hair-brained programs than you can shake a stick at. A lot of them are grants to states and local school boards which lead to the hiring of more school administrators, the real growth industry in public education and the area where an edu-crat can earn higher pay than by just being a teacher.
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Old 11-02-2008, 10:32 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reaper16 View Post
Without education, we'll all turn out like KCJohnny. Keep the department -- for our children's sake.
Get rid of it for our children's sake. It's where all the experimental junk is coming from that's ruining education. Not to mention the blatent UnConstitutionality of it.
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Old 11-02-2008, 10:34 AM   #13
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Without education, we'll all turn out like KCJohnny. Keep the department -- for our children's sake.
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Old 11-02-2008, 10:46 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SHTSPRAYER View Post
More people with degrees did nothing more than make a college degree worth what a HS diploma was twenty years ago.

We can't all become lawyers, you know.
Ah, you are under the impression that we didn't outsource the vasy majority of manufacturing and industrial jobs some time ago. The higher skilled jobs that resulted in our higher per capita income do require education. We can't all work at Dairy Queen you know.



Quote:
Originally Posted by SHTSPRAYER
That's a stupid question. You are actually atributing the outperfromance of other countries vs US students to the fact that they have a federal beauracracy?

I think there are plenty of other factors that contribute to their successful achievement and our dismal undera achievement.
What other factors? How can localities address those factors?

I notice you didn't name any countries that employ your favored method of decentralized educational strategy. Why not? At some point you have to realize that these sorts of topics involve empirical and comparative data, when you ignore that data in favor of rhetoric like "the Department of Ed is a sewer" without any data to back it up, well, you've just provided rhetoric and little more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SHTSPRAYER
The proposed federal Education Department budget for fy 2005 is $64.3 billion, with more hair-brained programs than you can shake a stick at. A lot of them are grants to states and local school boards which lead to the hiring of more school administrators, the real growth industry in public education and the area where an edu-crat can earn higher pay than by just being a teacher.
As I showed earlier, the Dept. of Ed budget is miniscule. at $59.2 billion, if you are making median wages, then your annual tax contribtion to it would be $75 dollars a year. So, we've ensured that this giant bureaucracy will go away and look at all the money you've saved us!

Your mill levies and property tax contributions dwarf what you pay to the Department of Ed.

I agree that much of the system overvalues administrators, but as I've already provided the budget items in the Department of Ed's budget, you will note that there is no significant contribution going toward that end as you allege.
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Old 11-02-2008, 10:52 AM   #15
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Quote:
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Get rid of it for our children's sake. It's where all the experimental junk is coming from that's ruining education. Not to mention the blatent UnConstitutionality of it.
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