Many people will see this post and assert without evidence that I should just believe that government having good intentions always and infallibly leads to good outcomes. Before I dig into this, let me quote fellow Nonreligious atheist Christopher Hitchens [may he rest in peace and in honor forever, I am very sad to have never met him] on something he said about every debate on every topic possible:
What is asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence
Now, on to the analysis of how government involvement in education is typically, not always, but typically a bad thing, starting with Education Spending.
Education funding by government
My nation, the US, has a national government who spends currently $119 billion in education. Regrettably, the OECD, who makes the data for PISA that I will be using to see if there is any correlation to prove any point, has no data for the current year of 2016. However, it is possible to get data for the years of 2000, 2003, 2006, 2009, and lastly 2012.
Fiscal Year 2000
As the PISA tests many different nations’ teen populations on math, reading, and the subject I will factor in as an aspiring paleontologist, this third subject being science; I can say this: American teens were in their scientific prime in year 2000 with the 15th highest science score on Earth. This is when government funding of education was nearly $70 billion for the fiscal year.
Fiscal Year 2003
The government education spending went up by $17 billion, in the same year American scores on science dropped down to 491, putting our nation down to rank 22 out of the same 40 who were tested in 2000.
Fiscal Year 2006
$98 billion to education from US federal government treasury. America 29th on Earth out of 57, this time, but still a lesser score than the above two years at 489.
Fiscal Year 2009
Education funding climbed to basically $100 billion, while PISA score in science for the US went to 502 for that year of 2009. If you are seeing a pattern you now know why earlier I asserted “typically” while denying “always”.
Fiscal Year 2012
Lastly $21 billion was added to education, resulting in a $121 billion education funding, while American science score on the PISA dropped to 497, putting us down to 28 out of 65.
Patterns I hope I’m not alone in seeing
- The pattern that OECD does these tests every three years
- The pattern that OECD includes new countries, may of whom are not OECD members, every re-run
- The pattern that most increases of government involvement in education lead to decreases in scientific literacy
To give out a percentage online, 80% of government hikes in education spending lead to drops on scientific literacy.
Apparently our Founding Fathers knew it would be mostly sensible to keep government out of education, I can tell because I have a PDF of the actual US Constitution and I tried all of the following education-related terms, and none of them appear even once:
- community college
- social studies
- department of education
- no child left behind
- common core standards initiative
This secondary point being government not only has no place in education logically, but it is also Unconstitutional [aka AGAINST THE LAW] for government to involve itself in education by any means, financial or otherwise.
Well, thank you all for learning something today,