Lies Corporate Reformers Tell Us

I get emails from former Florida governor Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in Education.  The Foundation is one of many conservative organizations supporting charter schools, “personalized” on-line learning, and now, the Common Core Standards.  I’ve copied today’s email here:

Education in the United States is number one in one area: Spending.
 
A recent report confirms that education spending across the United States averages $15,171 per student each year. This is 50% higher than the average Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development country spends per student. Even when accounting for regional differences in costs, the United States still spends 15% more than the average country based on GDP.
 
For that hefty sum, we should expect to have equally high educational outcomes. But sadly, the United States has a mediocre high school graduation rate, with 1 in 4 entering high school freshman failing to ever cross the stage with a diploma.
 
An even gloomier picture emerges when you look at what students are learning—or aren’t learning. Looking at the same group of countries, the United States drops from its 1stplace ranking for spending all the way down to 14th for reading comprehension. And formathematics attainment, the drop is even more dramatic, down to 25th.
 
Higher academic standards are needed to bring us back to first place in the world. As taxpayers, all of us should be concerned with how our money is being spent. And as Americans, we should be concerned about the future of our country. We should no longer accept the mediocre standards being used in classrooms across our states. Instead, it’s time to expect more of our students, and ensure our money is being spent wisely.
 
The majority of our states have decided that education should be taken seriously and have made the effort to raise their academic standards. These higher standards are necessary to compete in the world and to maintain our country’s prosperity.
 
To read the full OECD report on education spending, visit: http://www.oecd.org/edu/eag.htm

Join the Movement for Higher Standards

Please forward this email to your friends who might be wondering what the truth is about the Common Core State Standards initiative. Encourage them to sign up for our email updates. In coming days and weeks we will be sharing more facts and information about the movement to raise academic standards.

The double drumbeat of claiming that US schools both spend too much while producing too little is getting old.

That $15, 171 that he claims the US spends per pupil?

That includes all spending from from primary school through “tertiary” — or education after high school, including research and development spending in universities. Those figures are right there on the link to the OECD report, but the writers of this email either doesn’t understand this data , or are instead counting on their supporters to not understand it and are outright lying.

Spending on higher education has *nothing* to do with what’s being learned in K-12 schools or the need for new Common Core standards.

Emails like this instead have everything to do with work to discredit public education at every turn so that charters, e-learning providers, test makers, and other for-profit entities can come sweeping in to save poor children.

US budgets for education include substantial funding for health care for school employees.  It includes funding for ELL learners and special ed students.  It includes an enormous amount of money for testing. It includes transportation costs in huge school districts.

But including spending for higher ed in an argument for higher K-12 Standards, all on in the name of advocacy for  the poor children  lagging behind in all of these assessments?

If they have to lie to make their case, how strong a case can it be?

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