We have an education problem in America. Marxism has infiltrated our education system since the 1960s, causing the overall quality to decline while Marxists use the education system as a platform to push their agenda. While this article will not be a historical piece, it will be more of a current view of the issues in America. At the end, I will also give a viable option to help fix the issue. While nagging and pointing out an issue is important to highlight the issue to Americans, solutions are also just as important.
Thus, let us start by looking at the statistics. Our student’s results have been stagnant since the 2000s (3). When we compare PISA test scores (Program for International Student Assessment) from 2000 to 2014, America has remained relatively flat (4). For international scores, among the top 69 countries tested for PISA rankings in reading, we are behind only 14 countries and tied with 13. For math, we are behind 36 countries. Science we perform better, being behind 18 countries. Even when looking at TIMSS (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Assessments), we see better results but still not stellar. Fourth graders are behind 10 countries for respective grades in math. For fourth graders in science, America rates behind 7 countries. Eighth graders see similar numbers: math is behind 8 countries and science is behind 7 countries. While we are performing adequately in those regards, we are simply not the best. This is especially an issue when we look at money put in.
The United States, when adjusted for inflation, has seen a 280% increase in spending since the 1960s (2). 2019 saw the highest K-12 spending, increasing 4.7% from the previous year (5). All while the United States Government is promoting sending more money into education, the results are not putting us at the top. On average, schools in the United States are the fifth-highest spent on pupil compared to 37 other developed nations (6). In terms of postsecondary education, the United States spends more than any other country.
Simply throwing more money into education is not helping the youth of our country. The real problem comes when politicians try to enter the education system. These politicians simply do not care for the youth’s success and instead only care for their benefactors. For example, common core was introduced in 2009, yet America still remains stagnant (7). There was no benefit for the American student, only for those in charge.
This change of common core is not the only issue. Instead of recognizing that having more government intervention can lead to more complications, the left wishes to push their agenda further. Common core was simply not enough for them. Take the most recent governor’s election in Virginia which saw Youngkin run against McAuliffe. Education was a core topic brought up by McAuliffe (1) and he said, “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.” That by itself shows the issues in America’s education system. Government wishes to disconnect parents from their child’s education. All while jamming down propaganda that suits their narrative. The first was common core, currently they are trying to push Critical Race Theory and eventually they will try to raise students completely. Governor nominee McAuliffe’s mindset is enough proof of that.
When we divorce the familial connections, you are letting those who do not understand a child make all the decision. Those people who are making the decisions can be teachers or the government, but both are choosing what happens to a child they do not know them at all or only know the child for a year. How do teachers know what is best for a student, why they are leading class sizes of 30 students or more over the course of a year? How do politicians know what is best for a student, when they are representing at minimum, tens of thousands of people? Simply put, they do not know the student at all.
Standards are being set for young students, all while ignoring the their wishes and not trying to lean into their strengths. When results are not being seen, more money is being thrown into the education system at an absurd rate. This money is not being used properly, which continues to fail not only the child but also the taxpayers. It is a vicious cycle that the left wishes to use to continue to promote their agendas. Back in 2009 and 2010, they viewed Common Core as the solution to fix America. Now Critical Race Theory is slithering its racist tentacles into the education system, all while parents are being told they know less then those in charge of academia. It’s a disgusting elitism that the left pushes that will never end. So, what is the solution?
Well, the solution is simple. A voucher system. Put the power back into the parent’s hands. If we are spending roughly $12,624 dollars annually on a student (6), put a $12,624 dollar check on each child. The parents then can choose where they wish to send their student, which means that school will receive funding that is appropriate. Most importantly, it will cause schools to compete against each other. There can multiple free incentives such as: superior teacher to student ratios, free lunches, superior pick-up options, or more class options for student education. This also solves a key issue.
Children being stuck in low-income neighborhoods are often forced to go to worse local schools. With the current education system, those in poorer neighborhoods are stuck in a district where the school is also rather run down and not receiving proper funding or mishandling their funding. Many of these families simply do not know they can also change their students’ schools, or they are prohibited by their states. For example, per the Education Commission of the States of 2019, there are 4 states that prohibit choice among traditional public schools. There are 18 schools which students must meet certain criteria to choose. Over 17 schools must receive school district approval to choose. To receive approval, a lot of issues come along in terms of funding currently and students can be declined. Only 11 states allow parents to freely choose any public school for their students. A national voucher program would change that 11 to a 50, with no restrictions or limitations. It will give children the chance to succeed, regardless of your status, giving every student the opportunity to succeed.
The biggest part of a voucher system is it promotes parents more, all while limiting state and federal government power. States will be able to set their own guidelines, parents can speak with their “money” in an essence, showing what system will truly succeed. All while the federal government will no longer have an avenue to try to push their agenda, setting standards such as Common Core or trying to force Critical Race Theory onto young students. It stops government interventionism in the daily life of Americans.
Thank you for reading, I do appreciate it. God bless America.
– The Concerned Citizen
A book I would recommend reading would be “Inside American Education” by Thomas Sewell which is a lot more comprehensive. It also goes into narratives that I do not. It is more a reflection on the standard of teachers.
If you enjoyed this, try reading my article on the State of the Union in 2022.