And you thought health care costs were out-of-control!
Take a look at the chart below. Health care cost increases are dwarfed by the acceleration of education-related costs. Why is this?
As you can see from the chart, prices of Education is increasing far faster than for Health Care, which in turn is increasing far faster than inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index.
Again: why is this?
Oh yeah, I know. It is because of the need to stay competitive with other nations, we have invested heavily in education, and therefore have maintained the superiority of the US Educational System. Or … not. US ranks poorly against other nations’ educational systems.
Ah, I forgot! I was because we had such poor graduation rates in many school systems and that we were failing to serve minority populations, that we had to increase spending! Oops … that’s not it either. We continue to do very poorly in our graduation rates and especially with minorities.
So why then? It is a mystery!
We continue to pump money without end into the educational systems, and do more poorly every year.
On the other hand, our teachers have great job security, always get their checks on time, and have great unions to look out for their interests.
Maybe we ought to look more closely at this situation. In particular, I like the comments of Newt Gingrich in his book Real Change: From the World That Fails to the World That Works, chapter 5, “Failure in Education: Death Knell of the Old Order.” In this chapter Newt writes that
If the purpose of a big-city school system is to provide jobs for members of a unionized bureaucracy … then these school systems are a stunning success. If … [it] is to provide our children with the learning, the knowledge, the tools, and the motivation to succeed in the real world, then many of our public schools, especially in our big cities, are abysmal failures.
I would really like to hear the answer of those who have created this educational monstrosity as to why costs are rising so fast, while results are deteriorating.