More Money for Education Is Not the Remedy
by Daniel P. Regenold
If the recipe for improved education results in Ohio is to throw more money at the problem, then surely every Ohio student would be a Rhodes Scholars. Our students aren’t even close.
With student proficiency rates way below 50%, especially in urban schools, it is time for a new remedy that doesn’t involve just sending more money to schools. Susan Kaeser’s recent column about Increasing private school funding echoes other teachers’ union columns that has been recently published whenever a new education reform bill is introduced in Ohio. The constant mantra from media and the teachers is “let’s just keep the same plan in place and send the schools more money”.
The great Sociologist and Economist Thomas Sowell, who grew up in poverty in Harlem has a simple 4-step common-sense plan to improve schools, and it is hard to understand why no one listens.
First, he says, we must have Tough Schools that focus on the disciplines of Reading, Mathematics and Science.
Second, we must have metrics in place to judge performance. If we get rid of the metrics, as many school systems are proposing, how can we accurately judge progress?
Third, the fundamental deciding factor for improved success is parents and the family unit making the decision regarding what’s best for their kids. This is where the idea of School Choice in Ohio is so important. School Choice provides a strong incentive for public schools to be the best they can be. If a public school is strong, and does a GREAT job at educating, parents will have every incentive to keep their children in that school. If the school is weak and doesn’t focus on the basics, then no amount of money will improve that school. Kids are being penalized by keeping them in underperforming schools—let them move to a better environment that might work—and send the parents money to accomplish this. The idea that a parent doesn’t have the ability to decide what is best for their child is the height of arrogance.
Currently, parents are unable to stop indoctrination occurring in schools. While we might disagree about whether Critical Race Theory exists, the indoctrination problem—whatever it is– will go away if parents have the right and money to move their kids to different schools. If Cincinnati Public Schools want to spend an hour or two a day on Social Justice Issues that a parent doesn’t support, a parent now with improved School Choice options can move their child.
Finally, and fourth, Sowell says parents must show responsibility for their children. While we may not have the ability to impact parental responsibility we can hope that if parents and their families have different choices for their children that the kids will find an environment to improve their chances for success. We owe it to our kids to allow them to put their best foot forward.
Progress on Education in Ohio is slow as molasses, and it is clear to see why Ohio keeps losing ground to states that are willing to try something different. To the Ohio House and Senate members and the Governor it is time to set aside donations you have received from the Education lobbies and mix up the recipe and do something different for the kids. Surely, we can do better than status quo.
This article has also been posted by the Cincinnati Enquirer. Click Here to see the article at the Cincinnati Enquirer.