Public education is failing to effectively educate the majority of students, as evidenced by the fact that more than 77% of K-12 public school students exit 12th grade while failing to achieve proficiency averaged across seven subjects: civics, geography, mathematics, reading, science, U.S. history, and writing.
Furthermore, the 2022 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) results revealed the largest decline since the assessment was launched in 1990.
- Math scores decreased on average by 5 points since 2019 for 4th-grade students and 8 points for 8th-grade students.
- 64% of 4th-grade students and 73% of 8th-grade students failed to score proficient in math.
- Reading scores dropped an average of 3 points for 4th-grade students and 3 points for 8th-grade students.
- 66% of 4th-grade students and 69% of 8th-grade students were below proficient in reading.
Recognizing that reading is a basic skill fundamental for all other academic learning, the crisis is severe.
But the pitiful results are not due to insufficient funding. K-12 public education inflation-adjusted spending has more than tripled since the 1970s, yet learning has remained stagnant. Chicago Public Schools now spends more than $29,000 per student, up from $17,800 in 2020.
Consider that in the early 1950s, public schools employed one adult for every 17 students. Today, public schools, on a national average, employ one adult for every 7.4 students. There are four times as many administrators in public schools today than in the 1950s. This excessive bureaucracy eats up approximately half of the funding before it reaches the classroom.
However, the crisis is more far-reaching than the failure to provide quality academic learning. Radical gender ideology is being peddled to children during the school day. On the school flagpole, there likely will either be a trans flag or a “Progress Pride” flag. If not out front, these flags are hung throughout the school, including in classrooms without an American flag, seemingly encouraging children to give their allegiance to radical gender ideologies instead of the ideals represented by the U.S. flag.
Furthermore, rather than teaching students a historically accurate understanding of our country’s founding, public schools are teaching critical race theory and claiming our nation is systemically racist. In history lessons and beyond, an anti-American worldview is peddled to children.
As G.K. Chesterton famously stated: “Education is not a subject and does not deal in subjects. It is instead a transfer of a way of life.” And, often attributed to Abraham Lincoln, “The philosophy of the schoolroom in one generation becomes the philosophy of government in the next.”
Although there is a significant crisis in K-12 public education, school choice provides a way for families to take their taxpayer funding and select the educational avenue with high-quality academic learning that aligns with their values.
Click HERE to listen to Dr. Keri D. Ingraham’s interview on the Humanize podcast hosted by Wesley J. Smith.