By NeW Intern Nicole
Our public education system is failing out students. Lukas and Schaeffer point out that liberals believe “any proposal that would limit or redirect funding for government-run public schools” is a “War on Women” (71). What our authors also point out, however, is that “per pupil spending on public K-12 education has tripled, after accounting for inflation, but test scores have stagnated” each year (71).
The government continues to funnel more money into a system that is broken. So, “what’s the matter with our current education system?” (72). Lukas and Schaeffer make a case that,
a root cause is that there is no market in our education system. As a result the fundamental structure of our public school systems fail to encourage innovation or reward results (72).
Lukas and Schaffer’s solution to our education system is answers “how can we most effectively teach kids the skills they need?”(73). They stress the importance of different teaching methods in the classroom to break from the one-size-fits-all method that characterizes liberal government programs to a tee.
Our problem stems from policies unwilling to take alternative steps in improving our education besides funneling more useless money into a corrupt system. In addition, the public education system is weakened by unions whose “rules generally prevent schools from rewarding good teachers, requiring that any layoffs must occur on a ‘last-hired-first-fired’ basis” (73).
Lukas and Schaeffer want to see more charter schools, “tax credits and other programs to help kids attend private schools, and home schooling programs” (74). They see this as the future to helping our children get the education they need to further succeed in life.
The Head Start program is another prime example of money being funneled into education programs that do not produce results. President Obama consistently rattles off false statistics about the program. For example, in 2007 he stated,
for every $1 we invest in these [early childhood education] programs, we get $10 back in reduced welfare rolls, fewer health care costs, and less crime (74).
As Lukas and Schaeffer truthfully point out, “Head Start has been an overwhelming failure at its stated mission” (75). The Department of Health and Human Services, which is the same department that oversees Head Start, has released data that shows, “despite spending more than $100 billion on the program since its inception in 1965… almost all academic effects disappear by the time a child reaches the end of first grade” (75).
Lukas and Schaeffer conclude with a pun that really sticks it to proponents of Head Start: “What would benefit women and their families is having greater freedom and choice to really get a head start in life” (75).
The theme— big government threatens women’s progress—continues on. As government grows, our ability to impact our own lives for the better and be successful diminishes.
Our reading for next week discusses Title IX. As a collegiate athlete, this upcoming section was the most interesting for me. This section shed some new light on the issue and brought arguments to the table that I had not previously considered.