We just finished writing an economic news roundup recording job vacancies and employee needs and housing price changes.
The editorial opinion thought that came to us while writing the news story was, “Why should taxpayers pay to educate employees for businesses?”
Public schools do a dreadful job at that, but all you hear is complaining and demands for statewide or even nationwide academic achievement testing; or for more money; or for fiddling with the tenure system; or to abolish teacher unions.
Testing has been a failure: teachers hate it; bureaucrats and test writing firms love it; the public has no idea what to think about it. They do want the products of the public schools (students), to come out with a certain level of knowledge and skill, but they don’t seem to be willing or able to figure out the root cause of public school failure.
So, here is IFO’s contribution to the problem: a definition of “THE ROOT CAUSE OF PUBLIC SCHOOL FAILURE.” Towit: children are forced to attend and the public is forced to pay. That’s it. That’s the problem in a nutshell.
Coercion never achieves the stated goal. We would say “never achieves the intent,” but we don’t pretend to know what was and is on people’s minds when they support these two pillars of coercion.
Mind you, we are strongly pro-capitalist and pro-free market. But why should “We” pay for “Their” education? Oh, right. It’s for the good of everyone. A better educated population is more productive and peaceful, right? Fine, but better education is not achieved through coercion. More schooling is achieved, but not more or better education.
“Yes, but if the children aren’t forced to go to school, they won’t,” is the ridiculous-on-its-face argument. How does this fit with the high level of education achieved by Americans before the great Progressive Reforms (coercion) were enacted around 1912?
Allegedly, it was to make sure that that last 1 percent of the population got schooling, that laws were passed enacting “free, public education” and forcing the kids to attend and the public to pay.
Literacy levels were higher then than they are now. Eighth graders knew more then than they do now. Teachers with an eighth grade education knew more then than teachers with Masters Degrees know now.
Those assertions, BTW, can’t be proven via the link provided. That link shows an example of the mendacity of the education establishment. Anyone who believes that 99.4 percent percent of the population was literate in 1979 should contact me about a bridge I have for sale.
So, the answer to the question we began with is a resounding “NO.” If employers want an education workforce it is their responsibility to do it. It is the parents’ responsibility to get their children to a level of education that makes their children acceptable for additional, specific training.
And, finally, IFO loved school… for the first six years – all in New Mexico. The next six were more or less hell – in Southern California which was so proud of its Progressive Education System!