Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at intelligent and rational individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

"Observe that the 'haves' are those who have freedom, and that it is freedom that the 'have-nots' have not." Ayn Rand

"The virtue involved in helping those one loves is not 'selflessness' or 'sacrifice', but integrity." Ayn Rand

27 February 2013

Government-Run-Down Education in California

The Progressive Elitists love to wax eloquent about how much they care for children, especially for their education.  California is a state well-controlled by the Progressive Elitists.  True to their stated values, they spend mightily on K-12 government-run education.  Falsely, their children have become nearly the worst educated in the nation.

Conn Carroll in the Washington Examiner wrote an excellent piece on the lessons of government-run education in California.  In 1975, when Gov. Brown was first governor, he pushed the Rodda Act that allowed government worker unions to directly withhold union dues from organized worker paychecks.  The California Teachers Association used the massive sums collected to mount political campaigns to get more money for the government-run schools and for teacher pay and benefits.  In 1988, they helped pass Proposition 98 that required the state to spend at least 39% of the state budget on K-12 education.  The results:
  • An average teacher salary of $69,434 a year.  This is third highest in the nation.
  • A doubling of unionized teachers.
  • Union contracts requiring teacher pay be based on longevity, not teaching quality.
  • In 1992, California ranked next to last in reading proficiency for fourth-graders.
  • In 2011, California 8th graders were 48th in reading and 48th in math.  They did outperform Mississippi in both!
  • California has one of the highest student to teacher ratios in the nation, despite the huge spending.  The national average ratio is 15.5 and California is 20.9.
  • California once had among the highest percentages of college-educated people and still is #6 in college degrees for those over 65 years old!  But, its 25 - 34 age group is 1% below the 31.5% national average in college degrees.  It is sinking fast.
  • The exodus of companies out of California will have to continue not just due to high taxes and over-regulation, but because they will not be able to find enough college graduates to hire.  There is a projected shortfall of 1 million jobs requiring a college education by 2025.  [College feedstock from the 48th worst elementary schools in the nation must almost certainly lead to a particularly dire grade inflation in college, making many college degrees from California colleges quite bogus.  This is not to mention that high school graduates who cannot read and do simple math proficiently are not suitable for many jobs one might think a high school graduate could handle.]
The Progressive Elitist program for government-run education is not only failing the children of California, but it is also resulting in many young adults losing earning power relative to the past in California.  Indeed, it is causing the entire middle class that Progressive Elitists also pretend to champion to fall behind in income equality, another goal supposedly dear to the Progressive Elitist's heart.  The middle-earning 20% is faring much more poorly against the upper 20% of earners in California to the point that it is now the ranked 49th among the states by this criteria.  The Progressive Elitist control of education in California is a clear object lesson that they cannot, will not, and do not want to accomplish what they say their goals are.  They are con artists, pure and simple.

Over and over, I have made the point that quality education, for many reasons, must be private education, not government-run education.  California is a great object lesson in the failure of government-managed education.  One of the reasons it cannot fix itself is because its government-run schools are excellent at one thing -- indoctrinating the young with a belief in big government and a fear of the private sector.

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