We’ve long asserted that reading and math scores have been stagnant for more than forty years. We just didn’t know how stagnant.
Drawing on data from the U. S. Department of Education, Matthew Ladner of The Friedman Foundation found that reading scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) went from 285 in 1971 to 286 in 2008. On the NAEP, match scores rose from 304 in 1973 to 306 in 2008. In a separate study for the Friedman Foundation, Benjamin Scafidi found that since 1950, the number of students in public schools has gone up by 96 percent. The number of total school personnel during this time had risen by 386 percent.
Moreover, since 1992, the number of students has gone up by 17 percent while the number of teachers has surged by 32 percent. The number of administrators during this period rose by 46 percent.
In public schools, the answer seems to be more bureaucrats, no matter what the question is.
Malcolm A. Kline is the Executive Director of Accuracy in Academia.
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