You hear Obama and his liberal brethren constantly invoking “the children” as the reason for anything they want to inflict upon the American people. Obamacare is for the children. Taking away guns is for the children. The $800 billion porkulus program was for the children. We needed to keep teachers in the classroom to educate our children and make them fine productive citizens. The storyline is a load of crap. Most of the billions spent annually “educating” our cherubs is pissed down the drain on massive bureaucracy, gold plated union benefits, and social engineering bullshit. There are 3.7 million teachers and 3.3 million are public school teachers. Among full-time and part-time public school teachers in 2007–08, some 76 percent of public school teachers were female, 44 percent were under age 40, and 52 percent had a master’s or higher degree.
We hear about how overburdened these poor teachers are, but some facts shed some light on that workload. The pupil to teacher ratio in 1970 was 22.3. Today, the pupil to teacher ratio is 15.4. The chart below is adjusted for inflation. In 1970 we were spending $5,000 per child. Today we are spending $13,500 per child. The average class has 30% less students and we are spending 170% more per student than we did in 1970. These facts would lead you to believe we are producing brilliant scholars across the board.
The average teacher pay in 2011 was $56,000, with the more experienced teachers making $80,000 or more. Considering the median household income in the US is $50,000, teachers are making a pretty nice salary for 9 months of work.
But salary only tells part of the story. The union benefits being subsidized by the American taxpayer is equal to or greater than the wages. Public school teachers have benefits that are twice the level of the average worker. Therefore, their overall compensation package is much higher than the average worker in this country. But, we hear stories about underpaid and overworked teachers. We hear storylines about how if we just paid teachers more (higher taxes for you and me) our children would benefit tremendously.
Well here is the problem. Even though class sizes have declined dramatically, spending per student has surged, and teachers are already compensated at an above average level, our public school system is a fucking failure. Math scores are at the same level they were in 1972. Critical reading scores are at all-time lows. We’ve spent all this money and got no ROI. Of course 95% of public school graduates can’t calculate an ROI, so it doesn’t really matter.
Does it ever occur to liberal do-gooder control freaks that we spent $2,000 to $3,000 per student in the 1950s and 1960s and produced engineers, scientists, and mathematicians that put people in outer space, designed and constructed buildings and highways, and created the technological marvels of today? Remember, those spending levels are inflation adjusted. We spend six times as much per student today as we did in the 1950s and only 30% of high school seniors score high enough on the SAT exam to do B minus level work in college.
Our public educational system is a complete failure and spending more money on teachers, bureaucrats, and social engineering will not change it. Everything the government touches turns into a disaster. Obamacare here we come.