The news cycle is loud, but we need to hear those who can’t shout
The reading score for 17-year-old Americans on the National Assessment of Educational Progress in 2015. This was virtually unchanged from the score of 286 in 1975. Scores on both reading and math have been essentially flat since the early 1970s, despite the more than doubling of spending per student and a sharp increase in the number of teachers per student. A Department of Education report concluded: “Average reading and mathematics achievement for 17-year-olds did not change significantly between the early 1970s and 2012 or between 2008 and 2012.”
The percentage increase in the number of students in U.S. public schools between 1970 and 2016, according to a September study by the American Enterprise Institute. The increase was from 45.9 million to 50.6 million.
The percentage increase in the number of teachers in U.S. public schools between 1970 and 2016—from about 2 million to 3.17 million—according to the AEI study.
The percentage increase in nonteaching staffers in U.S. public schools between 1970 and 2016—from 1.4 million to 3.3 million—according to AEI.
The percentage increase, adjusted for inflation, in per-pupil spending in U.S. public schools between 1970 and 2016—from $4,934 to $12,220—according to AEI.