Mistakes were made

Last night, I linked to this chart from Positive Liberty comparing federal spending to educational achievement. As Freddie points out in comments, this is not an accurate representation of what we spend on education – a quick search of the Department of Education’s website reveals that the federal government only contributes about 8.3 percent of total educational expenditures, most of which come from state and local governments. Taken independently, the numbers on federal spending really don’t mean much. So yeah, my bad. I shouldn’t have argued that this data questions the efficacy of additional education spending.

Obviously, the debate over education is an important one to have. And I’d be interested to compare student achievement to total education spending over a similar period. But now that this chart is percolating the blogosphere – again, my bad – I think it’s important to note that it doesn’t come close to presenting a complete picture of education spending nationwide.

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5 thoughts on “Mistakes were made

  1. I’ve often thought instead of spending time on geometry or algebra, every high school student should take half a year of stats. And it isn’t just because I’m bad at algebra that I believe that.

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  2. So I followed your link, and it looks like they have the additional information that Freddie was suggesting be considered: i.e. Total spending at all levels and special education spending. It looks to me like the point stands. Spending has increased dramatically. Results have not.

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  3. Taken independently, the numbers on federal spending really don’t mean much. So yeah, my bad. I shouldn’t have argued that this data questions the efficacy of additional education spending.

    I’m unclear on why you think you made a mistake in posting the chart. While its true that it doesn’t include other types of spending, I’m not sure how that changes the point of the chart. If state and local funding are added on to the federal spending, it just makes the test results even worse. It’s not like less money was spent.

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  4. Hey, Will, this is great stuff. Could you possibly do a post on state, local, and fed? Man this looks a lot worse than I thought. WTF, we don’t need no stinkin’ Dept. of Education!

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