Beware Educational Hysteria

When it comes to flushing billions down the toilet and relentlessly aggrandizing Washington's power, nothing, absolutely nothing, outshines "fixing" our supposedly woeful schools. This disorder conspicuously erupts every three years with the release of the international education performance data on reading, math, and science issued by the Program for International Student Achievement (PISA). PISA has been around since 2000 and the 2012 results are typical: U.S. students are generally mediocre, especially compared to our economic rivals in Asia. Though hardly unexpected given past outcomes, the findings always elicit a sky-is-falling as if economic doom is eminent. Education Secretary Arne Duncan called the results, a "picture of educational stagnation." A December 4th, 2013 Wall Street Journal lead editorial exemplifies this near panic: Such results should trouble anyone concerned about America's economic future and the human capital produced by the K-12 system. Economies grow by...(Read Full Article)