Does America Have Too Many Teachers?

User Rating:  / 3
PoorBest 

Public schools (a.k.a. government schools) have doubled their staff in 40 years while student enrollment has increased by only 8.5%.  Some interesting statistics presented in this opinion-editorial published in the 7/9/12 edition of the Wall Street Journal.  It is more competition, not more money and bureaucracy, that will fix America's broken system of government run schools.

 

America Has Too Many Teachers

Public-school employees have doubled in 40 years while student enrollment has increased by only 8.5%—and academic results have stagnated.

By ANDREW J. COULSON

President Obama said last month that America can educate its way to prosperity if Congress sends money to states to prevent public school layoffs and "rehire even more teachers." Mitt Romney was having none of it, invoking "the message of Wisconsin" and arguing that the solution to our economic woes is to cut the size of government and shift resources to the private sector. Mr. Romney later stated that he wasn't calling for a reduction in the teacher force—but perhaps there would be some wisdom in doing just that.

Cato Institute scholar Andrew Coulson on how public school employment has soared over the past 40 years even as student enrollment has flat-lined.

Since 1970, the public school workforce has roughly doubled—to 6.4 million from 3.3 million—and two-thirds of those new hires are teachers or teachers' aides. Over the same period, enrollment rose by a tepid 8.5%. Employment has thus grown 11 times faster than enrollment. If we returned to the student-to-staff ratio of 1970, American taxpayers would save about $210 billion annually in personnel costs.

Or would they? Stanford economist Eric Hanushek has shown that better-educated students contribute substantially to economic growth. If U.S. students could catch up to the mathematics performance of their Canadian counterparts, he has found, it would add roughly $70 trillion to the U.S. economy over the next 80 years. So if the additional three million public-school employees we've hired have helped students learn, the nation may be better off economically.

To find out if that's true, we can look at the "long-term trends" of 17-year-olds on the federal National Assessment of Educational Progress. These tests, first administered four decades ago, show stagnation in reading and math and a decline in science. Scores for black and Hispanic students have improved somewhat, but the scores of white students (still the majority) are flat overall, and large demographic gaps persist. Graduation rates have also stagnated or fallen. So a doubling in staff size and more than a doubling in cost have done little to improve academic outcomes.

Nor can the explosive growth in public-school hiring be attributed to federal spending on special education. According to the latest Census Bureau data, special ed teachers make up barely 5% of the K-12 work force.

The implication of these facts is clear: America's public schools have warehoused three million people in jobs that do little to improve student achievement—people who would be working productively in the private sector if that extra $210 billion were not taxed out of the economy each year.

We have already tried President Obama's education solution over a time period and on a scale that he could not hope to replicate today. And it has proven an expensive and tragic failure.

To avoid Greece's fate we must create new, productive private-sector jobs to replace our unproductive government ones. Even as a tiny, mostly nonprofit niche, American private education is substantially more efficient than its public sector, producing higher graduation rates and similar or better student achievement at roughly a third lower cost than public schools (even after controlling for differences in student and family characteristics).

By making it easier for families to access independent schools, we can do what the president's policies cannot: drive prosperity through educational improvement. More than 20 private-school choice programs already exist around the nation. Last month, New Hampshire legislators voted to override their governor's veto and enact tax credits for businesses that donate to K-12 scholarship organizations. Mr. Romney has supported such state programs. President Obama opposes them.

While America may have too many teachers, the greater problem is that our state schools have squandered their talents on a mass scale. The good news is that a solution is taking root in many states.

Mr. Coulson directs the Cato Institute's Center for Educational Freedom and is author of "Market Education: The Unknown History" (Transaction, 1999).

A version of this article appeared July 9, 2012, on page A13 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: America Has Too Many Teachers.

Latest Events

No events

Our Financial Supporters

John R.  Fenton, MI

Kevin N.  Pinckney, MI

Linda W.  Brighton, MI

Margo A.  Olivet, MI

Jeffrey L.  Troy, MI

James B.  Saginaw, MI

Margaret P.  Jackson, MI

Kathleen D.  Bloomfield Hills, MI

Bob J.  Hartland, MI

Robert J.  Northville, MI

Sandra B.  Highland, MI

Betty G.  Brighton, MI

Bob F.  Macomb Township, MI

Tomas  K.  Grandville, MI

Bob H.  Fenton, MI

Kevin C.  Rochester Hills, MI

Lillian S.  Bridgeport, MI

Jan H.  Fenton, MI

Tracy L.  Brighton, MI

Jill V.  Highland, MI

Judith C.  Flint, MI

Larry P.  Plymouth, MI

James A.  Waterford, MI

Daniel W.  Kalamazoo, MI

Richard and Phyllis I.  Georgetown, TX

Shari D.  Frankenmuth, MI

Angus W.  Bloomfield Hills, MI

Dan W.  Brighton, MI

Robin H.  West Bloomfield, MI

Alfred H.  Howell, MI

Dave B.  White Lake, MI

Mac L.  Hartland, MI

Randal C.  Milford, MI

Richard G.  Howell, MI

Roger C.  Bloomfield Hills, MI

Donna N.  Hartland, MI

Joseph R.  Chelsea, MI

Lana T.  Brighton, MI

Dan A.  Howell, MI

John C.  Gregory, MI

Patrick C.  South Lyon, MI

Stephen R.  Chesterfield, MI

Edward F.  Plymouth, MI

Wendy H.  Gregory, MI

Peggy M.  White Lake, MI

Deborah M.  Howell, MI

George B.  Howell, MI

Shannon W.  Howell, MI

Jack P.  Commerce Twp, MI

Steve P.  Northville, MI

Susan O.  White Lake, MI

Dennis M.  Bloomfield Hills, MI

Marsha S.  Fenton, MI

Mary Lou H.  Livonia, MI

James K.  Dearborn, MI

Ronald B.  Sterling Heights, MI

Darleen P.  Plymouth, MI

Lou F.  Novi, MI

Margie W.  Farmington Hills, MI

Ronald M.  Grosse Pointe Park, MI

Ben D.  Milford, MI

Dierck O.  Northville, MI

Anna J.  West Bloomfield, MI

Clinton D.  Howell, MI

Karen C.  Farmington Hills, MI

Laura M.  Hartland, MI

Charles R.  Ypsilanti, MI

Lelton N.  Highland, MI

Charles M.  Brighton, MI

Shelly M.  Pinckney, MI

Marlene L.  Hartland, MI

John M.  Essexville, MI

Sarah B.  Hartland, MI

Joe H.  Hamburg, MI

Doug K.  Fenton, MI

Jim H.  Hartland, MI

John W.  White Lake, MI

Matthew O.  West Bloomfield, MI

Daniel H.  Milford, MI

Joella T.  Highland, MI

Merle R.  Walled Lake, MI

Linda O.  Fenton, MI

Leonard L.  Whitmore Lake, MI

Scott P.  Wixom, MI

Wendy S.  Brighton, MI

Janice L.  Fenton, MI

Joseph L.  Wyandotte, MI

Glenda M.  Holly, MI

Cathy R.  Saranac, MI

Robert B.  Clarkston, MI

Kay S.  Dewitt, MI

Mike K.  Commerce Twp, MI

Rick M.  Grosse Pointe Farms, MI

Jim S.  Bloomfield Hills, MI

Mark N.  Warren, MI

Marvin N.  Pinckney, MI

Brian F.  Webberville, MI

Matt B.  Farmington Hills , MI

Joyce K.  Westland, MI

Deborah P.  White Lake, MI

Marilyn O.  Commerce Township, MI

Laura Q.  Fenton, MI

James M.  Fenton, MI

Tanya K.  Fenton, MI

Tom S.  White Lake, MI

George W.  Whitmore Lake, MI

Gary and Kathleen K.  Ironwod, MI

Lill & Jim  M.  W. Bloomfield, MI

Don B.  Highland, MI

Brad S.  Rochester Hills, MI

Vickie K.  Farmington Hills, MI

W. Charles G.  Onsted, MI

Luigi M.  Hartland, MI

Charles K.  Highland, MI

Richard B.  Northville Twp, MI

James L.  Pinckney, MI

Gary K.  Redford, MI

Gary M.  Brighton, MI

Janice D.  Troy, MI

Jennifer D.  Howell, MI

Eric S.  Tampa, FL

Thomas C.  Rochester Hills, MI

Tim V.  Wayne, MI

Gloria H.  Troy, MI

John S.  Boyne City, MI

Stella .  Davisburg, MI

Terry G.  Saginaw, MI

Christine S.  Hartland, MI

Cynthia D.  Fowlerville, MI

Jason H.  Fenton, MI

Richard S.  Battle Creek, MI

Renee G.  Fenton, MI

Michael S.  Hell, MI

Donn W.  Farmington Hills, MI

John G.  Fowlerville, MI

Joseph F.  Lansing, MI

Roy V.  South Lyon, MI

Tom R.  Fairhaven, MI

Edmund K.  Northville, MI

Sue M.  Pinckney, MI

Marlene B.  Pinckney, MI

Russell G.  Brighton, MI

Craig O.  Holly, MI

B.H. A.  Troy, MI

Jeff M.  Howell, MI

Stacia L.  Waterford, MI

Jim M.  Pinckney, MI

Sandy W.  Lake Orion, MI

Joanne T.  Carleton, MI

David D.  Fenton, MI

Kim J.  Garden City, MI

Gregg C.  South Lyon, MI

Robert J.  Hartland, MI

Terry S.  Trenton, MI

Mary M.  Brighton, MI

Dave D.  Linden, MI

Fred D.  Fowlerville, MI

Cheryl W.  Washington, MI

Glenn N.  Howell, MI

James M.  Highland, MI

Gerri D.  Fenton, MI

Myron Z.  West Bloomfield, MI

Shawn M.  Pinckney, MI

Jim H.  Wixom, MI

Mark K.  Shelby Twp, MI

Donald T.  Dexter, MI

Geri C.  Royal Oak, MI

Bill H.  Mt. Clemens, MI

Daniel K.  West Bloomfield, MI

Norman S.  Williamston, MI

Roger K.  Saginaw, MI

Kevin S.  Farmington, MI

Larry V.  Whitmore Lake, MI

Douglas W.  Commerce Township, MI

Judy M.  Hell, MI

Dianna B.  Stockbridge, MI

Jenny C.  Brighton, MI

Joelle A.  Highland, MI

Joellen P.  Milford, MI

Rick W.  Grand Blanc, MI

T. L.  Livionia, MI

Jerry W.  Brighton, MI

Sharon L.  Plymouth, MI

Dianne C.  Bay City, MI

Joanie P.  Howell, MI

Sharon M.  Brighton, MI

Laura B.  Hartland, MI

Steven B.  Livonia, MI

Bobby N.  Colorado Springs, CO

Kathryn C.  Farmington Hills, MI

Mike P.  Dimondale, MI

David S.  Hartland, MI

Jeff S.  Lansing, MI

Maribeth S.  Plymouth, MI

Elsa E.  Pinckney, MI

Tom K.  Auburn Hills, MI

Diane H.  Fenton, MI

Ron W.  Plymouth, MI

Suzanne P.  Downers Grove, IL

Marilyn D.  Howell, MI

Amy S.  Howell, MI

Janie M.  Macomb Twp, MI

Ruth J.  Davisburg, MI

Robin B.  Linden, MI

Carol W.  Fenton, MI

Gregory H.  Howell, MI

John G.  Rochester, MI

Ralph T.  Plymouth, MI

Charles H.  Hartland, MI

Dave R.  Howell, MI

Jane H.  Howell, MI

Dick B.  Bloomfield, MI

James B.  Saginaw, MI

John B.  Fowlerville, MI

Ken M.  Pinckney, MI

Ray M.  Howell, MI

Judson E.  Milford, MI

Robert C.  Farmington Hills, MI

Nancy M.  Tampa, FL

Darlene L.  Charlotte, MI

Thelma G.  Berrien Springs, MI

John N.  Ann Arbor, MI

Christine C.  Howell, MI

Delores W.  Augusta, MI

Lynn R.  Fenton, MI

Donna R.  Burton , MI

Maria S.  Fenton, MI

Sarah L.  Commerce Twp, MI

GREG E.  PLYMOUTH, MI

Deborah O.  West Bloomfield, MI

Jon W.  Augusta, MI

Robert M.  Birmingham, MI

Arlene C.  Brighton, MI

Fadwa G.  Royal Oak, MI

Gail G.  Royal Oak, MI

A. Jean W.  Addison Twp, MI

Diana A.  Bloomfield Hills, MI

Mark W.  Howell, MI

Ron S.  Fowlerville, MI

Dustin B.  Onsted, MI

Glenn H.  Lansing, MI

Harry H.  Novi, MI

JAMES E.  Bellaire, MI

Bob G.  Howell, MI

Mark P.  Howell, MI

Shelly S.  Wixom, MI

Christine S.  Hartland, MI

Dave R.  Grand Blanc, MI

Karen B.  Fenton, MI

Larry G.  Hartland, MI

Carol  V.  Lansing, MI

Joanne D.  Highland, MI

Patricia B.  Northville, MI

Gary and Jane G.  Grand Rapids, MI

Marcia D.  Fenton, MI

Rockie A.  Eastpointe, MI

Erick A.  Lake Orion, MI

Tony D.  Waterford, MI

Valerie K.  Farmington, MI

Jay T.  Clarkston, MI

Dustin G.  New Hudson, MI

Fred B.  Commerce Township, MI

William B.  Howell, MI

Kenneth B.  Howell, MI

Edward S.  Brighton, MI

Constance M.  Pinckney, MI

Conrad F.  Brighton, MI

Ronda H.  Brighton, MI

Robert M.  Coldwater, MI

Terry N.  Howell, MI

Rich F.  Brighton, MI

Jerry C.  Farmington Hills, MI

Elizabeth and Donald G.  Harrison Twp, MI

Mary Ann Z.  Fenton, MI

Sheila  K.  Oak Park, MI

Jeanene V.  Howell, MI

Paul H.  Fenton, MI

John C.  Brighton, MI

Joyce S.  Sterling Heights, MI

Steve K.  Chesterfield Twp, MI

Andrea O.  Howell, MI

David S.  Fenton, MI

Greg K.  West Bloomfield, MI

Thomas M.  Orchard Lake, MI

Virginia B.  South Lyon, MI

Carlos A.  Highland, MI

Janet H.  Hartland, MI

Rose D.  Brighton, MI

Prudence A.  Fenton, MI

Jennifer W.  Colorado Springs, CO

Peter D.  Brighton, MI

Doug S.  Fenton, MI

Kathleen F.  Macomb Township, MI

Marge M.  Howell, MI

Laura B.  Caro, MI

Sylvia C.  Brighton, MI

Thomas W.  St. Clair Shores, MI

Sue S.  Lake Orion, MI

Ray P.  Highland, MI

Joan J.  Howell, MI

Art L.  Hartland, MI

Deborah M.  Port Huron, MI

Diane D.  Birmingham, MI

Nancy H.  Fenton, MI

Barb M.  Brighton, MI

Mark W.  Clarkston, MI

Steven P.  Dexter, MI

Rose P.  Waterford, MI

Mike W.  Farmington Hills, MI

Paul W.  Fenton, MI

Margaret C.  Midland, MI

Louis F.  Gregory, MI

Marion H.  Fenton, MI

Wayne B.  Brown City, MI

Norbert Z.  Fenton, MI

Kristine E.  Bloomfield Hills, MI

Mike H.  Fenton, MI

D. H.  Fenton, MI

G.R. D.  Howell, MI

Bonita C.  Eastpointe, MI

Jill M.  Highland, MI

Walter  C.  Sturgis, MI

Phil W.  Howell, MI

Loren B.  Clio, MI

Connie R.  Fenton, MI

Kim P.  Hartland, MI

Jennifer H.  Pinckney, MI

Patricia P.  Troy, MI

Diane P.  Howell, MI

Lizz J.  Brighton, MI

Milton and Jean G.  Clinton Twp, MI

David D.  Fenton, MI

Mary H.  Howell, MI

Lou Ann L.  Howell, MI

Julius S.  Fenton, MI

Jennifer H.  Saline, MI

Tomas  K.  Grandville, MI

William H.  Howell, MI

James R.  Brighton, MI

Scott B.  Grass Lake, MI

Werner W.  Shelby Twp, MI

Bill S.  Saginaw, MI

David G.  West Bloomfield, MI

Cherie M.  Fenton, MI

Tim H.  St. Clair Shores, MI

Erik N.  Warren, MI

James M.  Hartland, MI

Linda H.  Holland, MI

Debra C.  Bay City, MI

Dennis B.  Pinckney, MI

Susan M.  Highland, MI

William G.  Howell, MI

Sharon B.  Rochester Hills, MI

Matt d.  Essexville, MI

Roger K.  Fowlerville, MI

Cornelius K.  Charlotte, NC

Dennis O.  Fenton, MI

Mike I.  Commerce Twp, MI

Gordie S.  Lapeer, MI

Patrick C.  Troy, MI

Barbara F.  Brighton, MI

Scott S.  Brighton, MI

Shelia W.  Howell, MI

John H.  Hartland, MI

Robert D.  Hartland, MI

Otto G.  Ann Arbor, MI

John & Jolene C.  Howell, MI

Anna N.  Howell, MI

Susan H.  Hartland, MI

Mike S.  Durand, MI

Diane C.  White Lake, MI

Janice F.  Brighton, MI

Dennis H.  Brownstown, MI

Nancy K.  Sheridan, MI

Linda W.  Clarkston, MI

Jim & Lill M.  W. Bloomfield, MI

Jack M.  Brighton, MI

Mary K.  Garden City, MI

Betty M.  Hartland, MI

Geraldine L.  Commerce Township, MI

Joseph K.  Farmington hills, MI

Kurt P.  Hartland, MI

Alex C.  Brighton, MI

Judi B.  South Lyon, MI

Bonnie F.  Vassar, MI

Darwin H.  Perry, MI

Stewart O.  Fenton, MI

John D.  New York, NY

Mark D.  White Lake, MI

Catherine Z.  Saginaw, MI

Robert H.  Rochester, MI

Dan S.  Brighton, MI

Catherine G.  Jackson, MI

David L.  Auburn Hills, MI

Frank S.  Howell, MI

Irv K.  Brighton, MI

Bill M.  Fenton, MI

Sharon D.  Bloomfield, MI

Amy C.  Frankenmuth, MI

Jim L.  Saginaw, MI

Pam R.  Howell, MI

Anne R.  Howell, MI

Margaret M.  White Lake, MI

Dennis B.  Brighton, MI

Roger C.  Romulus, MI

Nancy E.  Portage, MI

Elaine P.  Wixom, MI

April D.  Brighton, MI

Keith N.  Sterling Heights, MI

Tom L.  Milford, MI

Dan E.  Pinckney, MI

Penelope S.  Fenton, MI

David S.  Hartland, MI

Lisa P.  Washington, MI

Orville R.  Hartland, MI

Diane W.  White Lake, MI

Margaret P.  Vassar, MI

Mariah S.  Howell, MI

Patricia O.  Fenton, MI

Jeannine S.  Boyne City, MI

Richard S.  Hartland, MI

Julie D.  Linden, MI

David K.  Fenton, MI

Louise B.  Clarkston, MI

Ralph B.  Troy, MI

Paula S.  Brighton, MI

Cheryl O.  Chelsea, MI

Elaine S.  Brighton, MI

Marlene P.  Walled Lake, MI

Liz M.  Bloomfield Hills, MI

Wes N.  Hartland, MI

William P.  Novi, MI

Robert H.   Rochester  MI

Nascar Michigan 400

RetakeOurGov Sponsors
NASCAR Vehicle

RetakeOurGov at Nascar Michigan 400

 Another milestone for RetakeOurGov as we become the first TEA Party group to sponsor a vehicle at a premiere NASCAR event. See our video and slideshow from Michigan International Speedway

Why did we form a PAC?

Many citizens have the desire to help the TEA party movement, but not the time to help.  A PAC provides these citizens with an opportunity to contribute to the movement. Read FAQ's on PAC

Leverage Your Influence

Contributing to a PAC amplifies your voice by combining your funds with the funds of other like-minded individuals.  Contributions to RetakeOurGov PAC amplify your voice by directly opposing tax and spend career politicians while simultaneously growing the strength of the TEA Party movement.  Read more

Paid for by RetakeOurGov with regulated funds, Wes Nakagiri, Treasurer, P.O. Box 37, Hartland, MI.  Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.  Contributions or gifts to RetakeOurGov are not tax deductible for Federal Income Tax purposes.

Would you like to make a contribution now?  Do you have a question(s) about the process?  Call us using Google Voice. Click on phone icon below and you'll be connected to our Treasurer.  (There is no charge, however, mobile phones users will incur air time usage)

Instructions: Click on icon above.  Enter your name.  Enter the phone number of your phone, that is, the one you are using to call us with. Your phone will ring shortly after clicking on "connect." Please dial "1" after answering your phone to be connected to our Treasurer.

Copyright © 2010 - 2013 RetakeOurGov.com. All rights reserved unless otherwise stated.