This morning, I took a look at a chart whose creators seemed to see something sinister in the fact that productivity would go up at a steady pace while inflation-adjusted median income stagnated. This afternoon, I’ve come across a chart with an even more dramatic comparison, and it’s one in which the causes may be more sinister.
From page 45 of a new report from Cato:
Note that the spending is inflation adjusted, so it’s actually significantly less of a leap than the absolute spending would show.
A quick skim through the report suggests that Rhode Island has worse results than the average, but it would be fair to say that most states have some variation of the increase in spending and decrease/stagnation in SAT scores. It would also be fair to argue that SAT scores may not be the best measure of success, for one reason or another.
But those are both arguments that have to be made. Faced with this sort of evidence, the burden should be on those who want to continually increase the resources that our state and our society direct to public education to prove that the problem is not the way the system is set up.
Until such arguments are made, the public is justified in seeking new alternatives and reductions in the money that they spend on a failing school system.