It doesn't help just to throw money at kids
I was delighted to read, courtesy of the Wall Street Journal, that the Texas Supreme Court has finally recognized two things all of us intuitively knew: (1) throwing money at schools (through the mediation of the teachers' unions) does not make for better education and (2) our schools would be better for some competition (read: "vouchers"). Thus, as part of a longer editorial (for subscribers), the WSJ has this to say:
The Texas Supreme Court did the expected last week and struck down the statewide property tax for funding public schools. But what was surprising and welcome was the Court's unanimous ruling that the Texas school system, which spends nearly $10,000 per student, satisfies the funding 'adequacy' requirements of the state constitution. Most remarkable of all was the court's declaration that 'more money does not guarantee better schools or more educated students.' Think about that one for a second. To our knowledge, this is the first time anywhere in the country that the judiciary has flatly rejected the core doctrine of the education establishment that more dollars equal better classroom performance. And it is potentially very good news for students, especially those from the poorest neighborhoods, because it shifts the policy emphasis from money to achievement. Better send the paramedics to check for heart failure at National Education Association headquarters. Even more encouraging, the court endorsed more choices for parents and the state's 4.3 million school kids. It said flatly: 'Public education could benefit from more competition.' The Texas Public Policy Foundation, which provided much of the academic research for the court, looked at the Edgewood school district in San Antonio, where donors started a privately financed voucher program. The results indicate that not only have the kids with the vouchers benefited, but so have kids in the public schools that are now forced to compete for students.To which I add: YES!!!