Dr. Stat

Dr. Stat is a Statistics Professor. This blog is his opportunity to share ideas and opinions about education (especially math education), politics, and whatever else comes up.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Bush Ends Public Education (Just Kidding)

In her 10/20/2004 column, Michelle Malkin included the following quote:
Meanwhile, a teacher for Kerry complained: "If we lose the White House again, it is very possible we will lose public education."

Well, they "lost." It's been over a year now, and we still have public education. In fact, maybe we ought to take a look at how public education has done during the Bush administration.

Percent of All K-12 Students Enrolled in Public Schools (NCES)
2003--91.17 (projected)
2004--91.16 (projected)
2005--91.16 (projected)

(Why is the NCES three years behind in statistics? Sure wish I had the current figures.)

Ron Hutcheson, writing for Common Dreams News Center today, says
In some cases, Bush pushed for spending increases. For example, federal spending on education, a top presidential priority, has increased 65 percent under Bush.

That money isn't being used to reduce the influence of public education.

Meanwhile, programs in school choice, ostensibly supported by the president, appear to have made little progress.

Kavan Peterson, at stateline.org, writes:

Utah in March became the first state since Florida in 1999 to pass a statewide voucher program, though it is limited to special education students. Ohio’s Republican-controlled Legislature is expected to send a proposal to GOP Gov. Bob Taft by June that would build on Cleveland’s existing voucher program. It would make state-funded tuition vouchers available to public school students with poor math and reading scores throughout the state.
Even with these additions, tuition vouchers will be in use within just six states and the District of Columbia . While Congress and the U.S. Supreme Court have given their approval to tuition vouchers, state courts and state lawmakers still are putting up roadblocks.

Lew Rockwell summed it up pretty well back in 2001:
Republicans are cheering Bush’s education bill, but they should ask themselves this critical question: why is Teddy Kennedy smiling?