Ed News: A Billion Dollars Doesn't Buy Much These Days


According to Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), the WASL test has cost Washington more than $1,000,000,000 since 1993.  (for the mathematically challenged in Washington, and there are a lot, that’s one billion dollars)  $160 million is spent on the actual direct cost of the exam, while more than $1 billion is spent on the curriculum reform to meet its standards.  This figure includes teacher training, software upgrades, standards development, etc.

Of course, we all know that this test has been a nightmare, especially when you look at math.

Here are the facts when it comes to math in Washington:
According to the Manhattan Institute, only 24% of Washington graduates are ready for college math, 8% less than the national average.
Almost 50% of high school graduates attending college need remediation in mathematics.

According to a consulting firm hired by the Washington State Board of Education, the state is too “heavy in math concepts but not heavy at all, or lacking entirely, on the mechanics of math; how to do the problems.”
It’s hard to imagine how our students will be able to compete in the 21st century workplace.  There is one good piece of news for the state’s economy:  Tutoring revenue for math has increased by 340% over the last 10 years.

But that’s not enough… Send more!
It is amazing how educators think the solution to all of our problems in the system can be fixed with more money...always more money. And more after that. Superintendent of Public Instruction, Terry Bergeson, reiterated that constant anthem in her annual state of education address.
She wants billions more. Billions for what? She doesn't say, of course. But rather than more billions, how about looking at why kids struggle to pass exit exams, why about one-third of them never graduate from high school and why an outrageous percentage of college-bound kids need remedial math and/or English? Could our dollars be spent more efficiently?

From the official blog of the Evergreen Freedom Foundation. Posted by Steven Maggi, Director of the Education Reform Center