Abysmal results

Since 1970 total education spending in America increased from $4,060 to over $10,000 per pupil in constant dollars (adjusted for inflation), yet reading scores and graduation rates haven’t improved. When the Department of Education was created, America led the world in science and math. Now, the U.S. ranks 17th in science and 25th in math.

Academic research backs this up. Researcher Eric Hanushek studied per pupil spending and concluded that we have increased spending for decades with no sign that student performance has improved. The issue, he says, is getting productive use of our spending.

The fact is that we are paying for a first class education system but we’re not getting one. Both parties are at fault. President Bush doubled K-12 spending during his administration but we have little to show for it.

Ms. Boyd praises Obama for granting waivers to No Child Left Behind but he only grants them in exchange for more federal control over those states’ school systems. His “Race to the Top” program also expands federal control. In fact Obama’s solution to every problem is more federal spending and more federal control.

We’ve been doing that for decades and the results are abysmal. Mitt Romney supports school choice (including vouchers), local control, innovation, increased transparency, and welcoming new education providers (including for-profit schools). This approach has worked well in Sweden where vouchers and school choice promoted innovation and competition. The result is significantly improved academic performance in both their public and private schools.

A vote for Obama is a vote to expand a failed approach. Mitt Romney will spend our education dollars more wisely.

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