DEMOCRAT PARTY HARDEST HIT: No connection between education spending and student outcomes

Guest post by Rob Nikolewski

SANTA FE, N.M. – For decades, it’s probably the most troublesome question facing education: Why are results for U.S. public school students so mediocre, despite the billions of taxpayer dollars spent?

Andrew Coulson thinks he’s got the answer: Because there is no discernible correlation between spending and outcomes.

“The takeaway from this study is that what we’ve done over the past 40 years hasn’t worked,” said Coulson, director of the Center For Educational Freedom at the CATO Institute. “The average performance change nationwide has declined 3 percent in mathematical and verbal skills. Moreover, there’s been no relationship, effectively, between spending and academic outcomes.”

The CATO Institute is a free-market think-tank based in Washington, D.C.

Coulson just released his study, “State Education Trends: Academic Performance and Spending over the Past 40 Years,” and he points to this chart that incorporates costs and the number of public school employees with student enrollment and test scores:

While spending has just about tripled in inflation-adjusted dollars and the number of school employees has almost doubled since 1970, reading, math and science scores for students have remained stagnant.

“That is remarkably unusual,” Coulson wrote in his study. “In virtually every other field, productivity has risen over this period thanks to the adoption of countless technological advances — advances that, in many cases, would seem ideally suited to facilitating learning. And yet, surrounded by this torrent of progress, education has remained anchored to the riverbed, watching the rest of the world rush past it.”

Coulson also looked at Scholastic Aptitude Test scores since 1972 and the numbers hold in each of the 50 states, including New Mexico:

“It’s really impressive how disconnected spending and achievement have been in our state public systems,” Coulson said in a telephone interview with New Mexico Watchdog.

Correlations are based on a scale between zero and one, with the higher the number approaching 1.0 suggesting a perfect correlation between spending and results. Coulson’s figures came out well below 1.0 — at .0075. In other words, the numbers Coulson worked with would have to be more than 13 times stronger to suggest a perfect correlation.

“The 0.075 figure reported here suggests that there is essentially no link between state education spending (which has exploded) and the performance of students at the end of high school (which has generally stagnated or declined),” Coulson wrote in the 60-page report.

Click here to read the study, which includes charts for all 50 states.

Coulson also says that not only is there no evidence that spending increases improve scores, he says the statistics show that decreases in spending have no discernible effect in negatively influencing student scores.

“At one time or another over the past four decades, Alaska, California, Florida and New York all experienced multi-year periods over which real spending fell substantially (20 percent or more of their 1972 expenditure levels),” he wrote. “And yet, none of these states experienced noticeable declines in adjusted SAT scores.”

But if spending has no affect, then why do students at private schools, which charge tuition, perform better than students in public schools?

“Actually, the average per-pupil spending in private schools is substantially below the average per-pupil spending in government schools,” Coulson said.

He pointed to a study he conducted in New Mexico’s neighboring state of Arizona in which Coulson said average per-pupil spending at private schools was about 66 percent of the cost of public schools.

National studies have shown the average per-pupil spending in the U.S. exceeds $ 11,000.

“There are many states in which you can find very many private schools for half that amount, certainly many for three-quarters of that,” Coulson said.

New Mexico Voices for Children, which has long advocated for increased spending for public schools, dismissed Coulson’s study.

“The Cato report assumes that education money is spent the same way it was in the 1960s and ’70s,” the organization said in an email to New Mexico Watchdog. “In fact, schools have been mandated to provide many more services—special education, after-school programs, computer sciences, etc.—and today’s classrooms require much more technology than they did in the days of the mimeograph. Ignoring this would be like looking at the rising cost of the automobile without taking into account the fact that modern cars have safety systems and technology that didn’t exist in the days of the Model T.”

Other critics of Coulson’s study point to his use of SAT numbers. Since 1986, the number of students taking the SAT has more than doubled. Since more students are taking the test because more students are attending college than in the past, the numbers would flatten.

Coulson said he adjusted and controlled for the test scores.

“It does seem that it is quite readily possible to control SAT scores for the participation rate and variations in demographics to get an estimate of real, representative state performance,” he said.

Contact Rob Nikolewski at rnikolewski@watchdog.org and follow him on Twitter @robnikolewski

Doug Ross @ Journal

BOOM: Write-in Tea Party Candidate Smashes Establishment GOP and Democrat Candidates

Guest post by Erich Pratt, Gun Owners of America

Earth to the Republican Party: Ronald Reagan called and he wants his party back.

Both Republicans and Democrats alike were stunned when a write-in candidate trounced the establishment picks for their respective parties in a state senate race last week.

The Republican Tea Party candidate, Scott Wagner, garnered 48 percent of the vote in Pennsylvania, as compared to the meager totals by the establishment Republican (27 percent) and the Democrat (26 percent).

Out of more than 22,000 votes cast, Wagner garnered 10,654 write-in ballots. This marks the first time in state history that a write-in candidate has won a state senate seat.

To be honest, this kind of shellacking from a write-in candidate is virtually unheard of anywhere in the country. It takes a huge volunteer effort to run against one’s own party, and this recent coup shows that the angst against tone deaf Republican establishment types is substantially growing.

Not surprisingly, GOP officials have ruthlessly attacked Tea Party candidates around the nation, as they almost always run in Republican primaries.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) told the New York Times recently that Republicans are going to “crush” the Tea Party everywhere. “I don’t think they are going to have a single nominee anywhere in the country,” he said.

Never mind the fact that four of the most popular Senators in the country — Ted Cruz of Texas, Mike Lee of Utah, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Marco Rubio of Florida — were Tea Party-backed candidates when they first got elected.

And ignore the fact that a write-in Tea Party candidate just won his race in Pennsylvania.

In that state senate race, the establishment Republicans were attacking Wagner for being an “environmental violator.”

Yes, you read that right. Republicans were attacking one of their own for running a trash hauling company (which is a job creator) and painting the owner as a polluter of the environment.

So Republicans are now borrowing talking points from Democrats?

The reality is that Tea Party candidates are almost universally pro-gun and support limited government. It’s no wonder that they are so hated by the liberal establishment in Washington, DC.

Heck, to listen to the liberal media, and to Senators like Mitch McConnell, one would think that Tea Party challengers don’t stand a chance anywhere around the country.

But outside observers are starting to publicly ask if the Pennsylvania tsunami might have “national implications” that should worry the establishment of both parties.

Time will tell. But gun owners and supporters of limited government should not be discouraged by the dire warnings being issued by the liberal media, saying that good constitutional candidates have no chance of winning.

After all, the liberal media didn’t foresee a write-in candidate trouncing his establishment nemesis in the state senate race in the Keystone State.

They didn’t foresee two Colorado state senators being recalled for their anti-gun votes last fall.

And you know what, they didn’t foresee a former actor with conservative credentials becoming President of the United States. But Ronald Reagan just ignored the liberal media and stuck to his guns.

Likewise, Americans who support the Constitution should follow his lead and stick to their principles, as well.

 
Erich Pratt is the Director of Communications for Gun Owners of America.

Doug Ross @ Journal

Larwyn’s Linx: ‘A Criminal Organization Masquerading as a Political Party’

Send us tips! Bloggers: install a Larwyn’s Linx widget. Get real-time news, 24/7, at BadBlue.

Nation

‘A Criminal Organization Masquerading as a Political Party’: Ed Driscoll
Nancy Pelosi strongly backed gun-runner for terrorists: WZ
Does Harry Reid have Dementia?: IJR

The Horrendous Criminal Enterprise Known As The Democrat Party: Nice Deb
Brace Yourself For More Obama Executive Orders: Katie Pavlich
Obamacare Navigators Helping People Enroll At Mexican Consulates: PatUpd

MSNBC and Obama Tanking Together: R. S. McCain
A Whole Lotta Democratic Corruption Going On: Michelle Malkin
Don’t Assume Liberals Always Put Principles Before Profits: Jonah Goldberg

Our Time Is Up: Liberty’s Torch
House Leaders Sideline Anti-NSA Lawmakers: DefenseOne
Will South Carolina Retire “Liberal Lindsey” Graham?: NewAm

Economy

Obamacare: Taxpayers in the Hole for $ 1.5 Trillion: Ed Morrissey
Teacher Describes Bullying, Intimidation for Opposing Common Core: MoTorch
U.Va. student sues state, ABC agents for $ 40 million: Richmond Times

Scandal Central

Leland Yee (D): The craziest criminal complaint against a lawmaker you’ve ever read: Freddoso
Harry Reid’s Payments to His Granddaughter Have Doubled : PJM
Reid’s Kin May Have Benefited Beyond Gift Purchase: RCP

Illegal Immigrants Released into Texas to Ease Over-Crowding: Breitbart
Democrat Campaign Workers Charged With Fraud, Forgery: MenRec
IG finds ex-ATF official took outside job while on federal payroll: CNN

Climate & Energy

The Coming Paradigm Shift on Climate: AT
The EPA Must Be Defunded: Bridget Johnson
Climate Scientist Demands IPCC Remove His Name From Report: Cove

Media

President Obama’s War on Journalists: AIM
Ebony Editor: I Don’t Talk To Whites or Conservatives: TR
Condi Rice Blasts Obama on Weakness, Leadership: Stephen F. Hayes

Nancy Pelosi (D-CA 12): KeyWiki Progressive/Marxist Profile: Trevor Loudon
This Week In Quotes: Double Edition (March 14 – March 27): John Hawkins
NYT Compares Obama to the Pope: Each ‘Burst’ Forth ‘as a History-Making Change Agent’: NB

World

U.S. Gives Russia Free Military Equipment Used By Army, Marines: JW
Lining Putin’s Pockets: Senators Want Obama to Call Off Contracts with Russian Arms Giant: PJM
No Food but New Hairstyle for North Korea: Politisite

Showdown In Ukraine: Putin’s Quest for Ports, Oil, Pipelines & Gas: ZH
Obama Gives Pope Vegetable Seeds, Francis Gives Obama Writings on Morality: CNS
Doppler effect analysis on Satellite pings disclosed MH370′s final route: Aviationist

Top US Official: China Will Soon Place Long-Range Nuclear Missiles On Submarines: AFP
Obama And Nuclear Terrorism: RWN
Victim Breaks Down in Footage From Aftermath of Brutal Anti-Semitic Attack in France: Algemeiner

Sci-Tech (courtesy BadBlue Tech News)

Microsoft brings Office to iPad, makes iPhone version free to all: Ars Technica
Twitter sneaks in photo-tagging feature: Register
Time Dilation Drug Could Let Heinous Criminals Serve 1,000 Year Sentences: Slashdot

Cornucopia

Will you fire on American citizens?: Dave Hodges
From a Reader: Western Rifles
Top 10 Worst Vehicles to Drive in a Zombie Apocalypse: AutoGuide

Image: A scene never to be repeated again: a sky filled with black stealth fighter jets
Today’s Larwyn’s Linx sponsored by: Fire John Boehner: Support J.D. Winteregg for Congress

QOTD: “The California Department of Motor Vehicles is setting up new facilities to process driver’s license applications for illegal immigrants alone.

Last year, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a bill…, which will allow illegal immigrants to obtain the documents beginning Jan. 1, 2015.

The bill was signed along with a number of others laws seen as favorable to undocumented immigrants.

As part of the driver’s license application process, immigrants will have to acknowledge that they are undocumented. But [the bill] protects applicants from criminal prosecution.” –Chuck Ross

Doug Ross @ Journal

PARTY OF WEAKNESS COMIX: Mom Jeans vs. KGB

Democrats despise our military and have always undermined our national defense. Always.

As former director of the U.S. Naval Institute Steve Cohen notes, “Only 35% of the U.S. Navy’s entire fleet is deployed, fewer than 100 ships, including just three aircraft carriers.”

And Obama wants more cuts. Not for his radical corporatist green-energy buddies. Not for the hundreds of millions of waste, fraud and abuse as described by the federal government itself.

No, Democrats always want to cut the military.

Because they despise America.

The next president is going to have one hell of a mess on his or her hands.

Hat tip: BadBlue News

Doug Ross @ Journal