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A Tale of Two Narratives In Guatemala Today

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No Child Left Behind. End It or Mend It?

by Christopher Chantrill
November 15, 2007 at 4:21 pm

DON’T blame me, says conservative elder Paul Weyrich.  “I opposed NCLB from the beginning.”  All it does is add a layer of bureaucracy.  And the study from Cato Institute, “End It, Don’t Mend It: What To Do With No Child Left Behind,”  seems to back him up.

[W]hile both 4th- and 8th-grade math scores rose between 2003 and 2005 (the only period during which score changes could be attributed to NCLB), the rate of improvement actually slowed from that achieved between 2000 and 2003, a period before NCLB was enacted and implemented in schools. "In reading," CATO’s report notes, "the results were worse, with the period covered by NCLB seeing a score decline for 8th graders and stagnation for 4th graders, following improvement between 2000 and 2002."

As always, usgovernmentspending.com rides to the rescue on this, because it lets us look at the full cost of education in this country. 

United States Federal, State,
and Local Government Spending
Fiscal Year 2008
Amounts in billions of dollars

  Pensions: $910.0
  Health Care: $916.5
  Education: $836.7
  Defense: $692.0
  Welfare: $436.4
  Protection: $296.6
  Transportation: $240.5
  General Government: $103.1
  Interest: $348.1
  All Other Spending: $301.1
  Total Spending: $5081.1

source: usgovernmentspending.com

There it is, $836.7 billion on government education in 2008.  when we are barely teaching kids to read and write and half of kids going into community college need remedial courses, surely we should be asking: what’s the point?

Our liberal friends are all exercised right now because the Iraq War is going to cost $1.6 trillion when you factor in all the indirect costs.

Education costs $1.6 trillion every two years.  And what do we get for it?

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Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.  His Road to the Middle Class is forthcoming.


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Faith & Purpose

“When we began first to preach these things, the people appeared as awakened from the sleep of ages—they seemed to see for the first time that they were responsible beings, and that a refusal to use the means appointed was a damning sin.”
Finke, Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990


Mutual Aid

In 1911... at least nine million of the 12 million covered by national insurance were already members of voluntary sick pay schemes. A similar proportion were also eligible for medical care.
Green, Reinventing Civil Society


Education

“We have met with families in which for weeks together, not an article of sustenance but potatoes had been used; yet for every child the hard-earned sum was provided to send them to school.”
E. G. West, Education and the State


Living Under Law

Law being too tenuous to rely upon in [Ulster and the Scottish borderlands], people developed patterns of settling differences by personal fighting and family feuds.
Thomas Sowell, Conquests and Cultures


German Philosophy

The primary thing to keep in mind about German and Russian thought since 1800 is that it takes for granted that the Cartesian, Lockean or Humean scientific and philosophical conception of man and nature... has been shown by indisputable evidence to be inadequate. 
F.S.C. Northrop, The Meeting of East and West


Knowledge

Inquiry does not start unless there is a problem... It is the problem and its characteristics revealed by analysis which guides one first to the relevant facts and then, once the relevant facts are known, to the relevant hypotheses.
F.S.C. Northrop, The Logic of the Sciences and the Humanities


Chappies

“But I saw a man yesterday who knows a fellow who had it from a chappie that said that Urquhart had been dipping himself a bit recklessly off the deep end.”  —Freddy Arbuthnot
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison


Democratic Capitalism

I mean three systems in one: a predominantly market economy; a polity respectful of the rights of the individual to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and a system of cultural institutions moved by ideals of liberty and justice for all. In short, three dynamic and converging systems functioning as one: a democratic polity, an economy based on markets and incentives, and a moral-cultural system which is plural and, in the largest sense, liberal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism


Action

The incentive that impels a man to act is always some uneasiness... But to make a man act [he must have] the expectation that purposeful behavior has the power to remove or at least to alleviate the felt uneasiness.
Ludwig von Mises, Human Action


Churches

[In the] higher Christian churches... they saunter through the liturgy like Mohawks along a string of scaffolding who have long since forgotten their danger. If God were to blast such a service to bits, the congregation would be, I believe, genuinely shocked. But in the low churches you expect it every minute.
Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm


Conversion

“When we received Christ,” Phil added, “all of a sudden we now had a rule book to go by, and when we had problems the preacher was right there to give us the answers.”
James M. Ault, Jr., Spirit and Flesh


Living Law

The recognition and integration of extralegal property rights [in the Homestead Act] was a key element in the United States becoming the most important market economy and producer of capital in the world.
Hernando de Soto, The Mystery of Capital


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©2007 Christopher Chantrill