Wednesday, December 22, 2010

America's Supply of Smart Thin People Dries Up

Add this to the list of problems that free-market solutions won't help with.

MIAMI (AP) — Nearly one-fourth of the students who try to join the U.S. Army fail its entrance exam, painting a grim picture of an education system that produces graduates who can't answer basic math, science and reading questions, according to a new study released Tuesday.

The report by The Education Trust bolsters a growing worry among military and education leaders that the pool of young people qualified for military service will grow too small.

"Too many of our high school students are not graduating ready to begin college or a career — and many are not eligible to serve in our armed forces," U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan told the AP. "I am deeply troubled by the national security burden created by America's underperforming education system."

The effect of the low eligibility rate might not be noticeable now — the Department of Defense says it is meeting its recruitment goals — but that could change as the economy improves, said retired Navy Rear Admiral Jamie Barnett.

"If you can't get the people that you need, there's a potential for a decline in your readiness," said Barnett, who is part of the group Mission: Readiness, a coalition of retired military leaders working to bring awareness to the high ineligibility rates.
Let's cut more school funding! That oughtta help. And kill school lunches in areas where there is a fast food place nearby!

A Department of Defense report notes the military must recruit about 15 percent of youth, but only one-third are eligible. More high school graduates are going to college than in earlier decades, and about one-fourth are obese, making them medically ineligible.

In 1980, by comparison, just 5 percent of youth were obese.
Hey, enough politics. Let's all go over to Aunt Sarah's place for s'mores!

13 comments:

wamk said...

School funding is at the highest levels it has ever been, yet the results of that spending show stupider kids.

How is throwing more money at it going to make it better?

Danielk said...

Where are you getting that information, that school funding is higher than it's ever been? I can't find it.

And is that per student or overall? Because the population is higher than it's ever been too.

wamk said...

How hard did you look?

http://www2.ed.gov/about/overview/fed/10facts/edlite-chart.html#2

Not very hard, it appears.

Danielk said...

Anything that indicates what spending is now, after that spike during the middle of Bush's term?

wamk said...

Weel, No Child Left Behind is still in effect, is your claim that after rising every single year on those charts, funding has suddenly gone flat or declined?

Or is it possible that you were/are wrong on educational spending?

wamk said...

http://www2.ed.gov/about/overview/budget/history/edhistory.pdf

'00: $38.4
'01: $42.1
'02: $56.2
'03: $63.3
'04: $67.2
'05: $71.5
'06: $100.1
'07: $67.1
'08: $68.6


Clearly a dropoff in '07 after NCLB, but a massive increase in spending overall since he took office in 2000.

How is throwing more money going to make the situation better?

Danielk said...

I'm gratified to see that the Democrat congress managed to bump it back down again, but that's another point for another time.

Clearly CUTTING funds hasn't fixed the problem either. I think the problem is that aren't enough teachers per student. Obviously we need less students in public schools. The best thing will be to refuse admittance to children of parents making more than $100,000.

Wamk said...

I agree that the teacher/student ratio should be smaller. Perhaps if we secured our borders, then the children of citizens would be better served.

Danielk said...

Yeah, that would cut the student population by two thirds at least!

wamk said...

Just in California. Everywhere else, maybe only one-third.

Danielk said...

Wait a minute -- given that the average grade-school class size is around 25 kids, you really believe that 8 or so of them are illegal aliens? Except in California, where 16 out of 25 kids is illegal?

Given that the parents are breeding like rabbits, let's say only a quarter of the population of the US is illegal aliens, undocumented fugitives. Yes?

wamk said...

My response to your comment should be taken in the same vein that yours was written in.

Danielk said...

Damn that's disappointing.