Do We Get What We Pay For?


Do We Get What We Pay For?

Erica Caramol | Nov, 9 2012

Do We Get What We Pay For

If there was any doubt about the United States overspending on education (even though student aptitude does not reflect the investment), the numbers contained in this infographic should erase any thoughts that the educational system isn’t “well-funded.” But, the question begs asking: Where is all that money going?

We don’t need to be reminded that students from China and India are leading the way in terms of smarts. We know. When we see amount of money being spent by those two countries in comparison to what we are spending, it is one more black eye our educational system must endure. An educated consumer knows it’s not how much you spend, but how much bang you get for each buck you part with. Obviously, Americans are throwing as much money down the bottomless pit of education as they do down countless other bureaucratic holes.

As we head toward the “fiscal cliff” everyone is talking about post-election, we can’t help but wonder if cuts to education will be included in the belt-tightening measures. Maybe those cuts will be a good thing if the right people can manage to trim the fat from the right parts of the educational system. Clearly, all that money spent per student is not turning out as many well-qualified competitors on the world’s stage. We shudder to think what will happen in the future, because clearly, throwing money at the problem is not the answer.

What we believe the answer to be, is more emphasis on alternatives to traditional education. We know technology is at the forefront of advancement, but not enough students in America are given access to the tools that will make them smarter. Instead of continuing along on a path that is doomed to fail, why not look into spending smarter? Online education can work wonders to cut costs, while improving the educational experience. Given the proper motivation, students will learn more while the government spends less to teach them the skills they need. We’re not suggesting that teachers be fired and schools shut down; just a reallocation of resources to pay for what works, rather than what is outdated. We’re not suggesting that the U.S. government engage in “extreme couponing” when it comes to education, just being a little smarter about how that money is spent.

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