If there is one thing the Department of Education does well, it is collect statistics about schools:
1. Between 1970 and 2002, average per-pupil spending in public elementary and secondary schools more than doubled, from $4,170 (in real dollars) to $8,802, an 111% increase!
2. From 1990 to 2003, real per-pupil spending increased 25 percent, from $7,692 to $9,644.
Did increased spending result in increased student performance in public schools? Not at all.
3. Reading scores for eighth-grade public school students remained static between 1998 and 2005. In 1998, eighth-graders averaged a score of 261 out of 500 in reading. In 2005, they averaged 260. Only 29 percent were rated grade-level "proficient" or better, and 71 percent rated less than proficient in reading.
4. Math results were a little better. Between 1990 and 2005, the average eighth-grade score rose from 262 to 278. But again, only 29 percent were rated grade-level proficient or better, and 71 percent rated less than proficient in math.
5. Private schools did better. Forty-nine percent of eighth-graders in Catholic schools rated "proficient" or better in reading, and 40 percent in Catholic schools, rated "proficient" or better in math.
Read more here.
Read my article here "The Educational Octopus."