Harpo Marx writes:
RL: They are trying to destroy public education and affordable college education, once again along the lines of a Third World model where public schools are underfunded, ruined and lousy and the only way to get a good education is to send your kid to private school. There will be moves in the coming year to make huge cuts in Pell Grants for college students. This project is very much ongoing and has been for a good 30 years or so. It is very much accelerating lately in the wake of budget troubles.As for public education, Asian Americans place second in the world after Shanghai Chinese kids, White Americans place second (for Whites) after Finns… Hispanic Americans blow away every Latin American country and African Americans… well there is no competition since sub Saharan Africa doesn’t administer the PISA test but they do beat their closest competition in Trinidad Tobago (which is 40% Indian..)
Yes I know Buchanan… but the facts check out. He claims that the US spends (per capita..) the second highest amount in the world per student for k-12 education (after Luxembourg..) however I was not able to independently verify this.
As for public education, Asian Americans place second in the world after Shanghai Chinese kids, White Americans place second (for Whites) after Finns… Hispanic Americans blow away every Latin American country and African Americans… well there is no competition since sub Saharan Africa doesn’t administer the PISA test but they do beat their closest competition in Trinidad Tobago (which is 40% Indian…).
Harpo is a rightwing deficit hawk whose philosophy can be briefly summed up as “The government spends too damn much money (and needs to cut back on the excessive spending)!”.
There is a serious problem with his analysis.
If the US really spends so much on public education, then why are so many schools broke? Here in California, teachers are being fired left and right, and those teachers with a job often have to provide their own supplies. 25 years ago, I taught in ghetto schools that were for all intents and purposes destroyed. They had ripped up textbooks that there many years out of date, and not even enough of those to go around. Much of the furniture was falling apart or destroyed. We hear reports of leaking roofs and all sorts of structural damage.
Proposition 13 in 1978, led by White California, began the destruction of public infrastructure in the state, and with it, the California schools. The Whites who voted for Prop. 13 were destroying their own White schools, but I guess California Whites don’t even care if they destroy their own schools?
I went to school in California from 1962-1975, the Golden Age. We had PE, music, art, clubs, the whole nine yards. Since 1978, extracurricular activities have been whittled away. Foreign languages, art, music, band, PE, sports, everything, you name it, they are destroying it all. All that’s left is core curriculum, and even that has been whittled away down through the years.
Maybe I’m a romantic, but I think that something sucks when schools get rid of art, music, band, PE, sports and extracurricular stuff. Something’s missing from education. It’s like all the fun has been sucked out of school. Are California Whites such pigs that they really want to whittle education down to the bare bones just to save a few bucks on taxes? It’s hard to believe, but apparently it’s true.
I went to university here from 1978-1981, and then again from 1991-1994. It was much more expensive the second time around, but the education was still very good. Now the tuition has gone through the roof, and I guess only rich people can afford to go to college, which is more or less the way it’s always been in this craphole country anyway.
Now there are massive cuts at the university level, and droves of students who want to go to college are being turned away every year because there is not enough room for them. You’ve got about one day to get into your classes, and it’s a huge race. Most of it is done online. If you don’t get into your classes in the first day, you’re screwed.
In many other countries in the world, university education is either very cheap or even completely free. And it’s often high quality too.
It’s very hard to believe, considering the high tuition prices, lack of vacancies and huge cuts in university education, that the US has some overspending problem in college education.
It’s also hard to believe considering the gutting of extracurricular activities, art, music, PE, sports, clubs, etc, the decrepit and destroyed infrastructure, the mass firings of teachers, teachers having to supply their own materials, etc. that the US has some overspending problem in terms of K-12 education.
Rightwing rhetoric is interesting and often seems to be intense arguments, but a lot of seems to fly right in the face of reality.