CRI Focus Areas

What has Federal Government Spending Done for Education?


Since the 1960’s the breadth and depth of the federal government involvement in education has increased while student outcomes have declined or remained flat.   The chart at the bottom of the page (click "Download Document Here") demonstrates the number of programs, the increase in spending from all sources and the decline of performance.   Spending is five times higher and the Budget Office projects that all spending will exceed $1.2 trillion by 2017. As more programs have been introduced SAT scores (only one indicator however one that demonstrates effectiveness of the overall K-12 system) have decreased. State and national test scores show the same overall decline and when disaggregated into ethnic and income groups a tragic gap is consistently maintained between the highest and lowest performers. Over the past five decades the federal government has drifted away from respect for the right of states in education as defined in the Constitution. The past two decades the strings attached to spending have eroded that right. These programs trickle down through regulatory agencies like departments of education with conditions attached that more and more subvert the ability of local citizens, school districts, boards and governments to influence and participate in the education of their children.   Most people acknowledge a good quality education is vital to raising all people and all geographic areas. The system is letting them down. The economic and social decay has impacted all, and none more than the low income, Black and Hispanic who should benefit most from these programs are the most negatively impacted.   Nationally   ·         Nearly 50% of young adults entering college will not receive their degree in 6 years. ·         Slightly over 40% of adults are functionally illiterate. ·         Two-thirds of prison inmates are dropouts.   In Delaware   ·         Twenty-five percent of freshman entering public high school will drop out. ·         NAEP reading and math scores are mediocre-to-poor overall and nearly 80% of low income, Black and Hispanic pupils score at basic or below. ·         The crime rate in Wilmington is one of the highest for cities its size. The extreme seriousness of the situation is best characterized by one resident of Wilmington who said, “We’ve gone beyond populating our prisons with our children to populating our cemeteries with our children.” ·         Nearly one trillion dollars of income was lost to New Castle County (NCC) over past fifteen years because families would rather live in bordering states with better education systems. Net $880 million of average gross income of which 70% goes to Chester County, PA. And, each year Delaware has a $2.4 billion out-migration of wages from professionals who work in the state and live outside the state.   Delaware has economic and social problems and a good quality education system is fundamental to reversing the negative impacts.   Again the federal government has established requirements through programs like Race-to-The-Top (RTTT) that impose requirements and create new standards, curriculum, tests, assessments and other programs. The campaign to sell programs like Common Core, child assessments, testing and others required by or generated from RTTT have done more to raise questions than answer questions.   Many ordinary people have questions about these programs. Good questions raised by parents, grandparents, taxpayers and others who live in communities. People who want to know how new government programs will reverse the negative outcomes they live with every day; programs that were supposed to fix the problems still with us today.   They ask questions like these and many more.   ·         Specifically how will these programs change the results? ·         What measureable improvement can we expect from these programs? ·         Is or isn’t RTTT and Common Core similar to what we’ve done in the past? o   If it is similar then what will be done to improve impact? And, why are we spending so much money that could be used elsewhere? o   If it is different then what is the evidence of improvement? ·         How will we be able to relate the new tests scores back to established tests like NAEP or SAT? ·         How do we protect the privacy of our children and families? ·         How does this program improve my ability as a parent to provide a quality education for my child? To be an active participant in the education of my child?   Frustrated with the inability to get clear answers a group of concerned parents and others have come together to educate themselves and to help clarify some of these issues.   This group will celebrate the birthday of Dr. Milton Friedman (a pioneer in school choice and reform) with a panel conversation to share what they have learned.   The free panel discussion is open to the public.   Every Family Given a Choice, Every Child Given a Chancewill be   Date/Time:     Tuesday, July 30 – doors will open at 6:45 p.m. Location:        Frog Hollow Golf Clubhouse, One East Whittington Way, Middletown, DE 19709   Who should attend: parents, grandparents, administrators, school board members, and taxpayers, elected officials . . . anyone who has any interest in improving the life outcomes for children by making available a high quality education for all families regardless of income level?   It is your child.   Thank you, Jim Hosley Director, Center for Education Excellence     Key Federal Government Decisions   1965: Elementary and Second Education Act (ESEA) becomes law 1967: SAT scale changed. 543 is equivalent to 466 on earlier scale (verbal score)   1969: National Assessment of Education Progress,           Voucher demonstration project/Public school choice and experimental schools             Program created 1974: Elementary and Second Education Act (ESEA) reauthorized 1975: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 1978: ESEA reauthorization 1979: Cabinet-level Department of Education created 1981: Education Consolidation and Improvement Act           ESEA reauthorization 1989: Education Summit (topic: international competitiveness) 1991: Nation Council on Education Standards and Testing created 1994: Improving America’s School Act reauthorized ESEA           Goals 2000 initiative 2001: ESEA reauthorized, named No Child Left Behind 2002: Education Sciences Reform Act created Institute of Education Sciences 2007: ESEA reauthorization – no action taken 2009: Race to the Top           Requirement for Common Core created    Click on the link below to access the chart showing the relation between Federal government spending and reading and math scores.

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