People ask us why we homeschool our children. They are very blunt about worrying aloud that our children won't be educated properly if we don't send them to school. Yeah; about that.
Cute kids. It's important to take into account that people asking questions that appear to be looking for a goofy response often get one regardless of whether a more serious inquiry might yield more serious results. Then again, there's currently a girl on my son's Facebook page informing the world that she's been accepted to "four collages." Any videographer should essentially be unable to find enough wrong answers to even make a lighthearted video of this nature at the high school level.
The American public educational system is the most expensive undertaking in the history of humanity. It costs $525,000,000,000 a year just for elementary and high school education, according to the Department of Education. Since they can't add, and are prone to obfuscating and outright fibbing, I imagine it's a lot higher than that. Hmm:
NOTE: Beginning in 1980-81, state administration expenditures are
excluded from "current" expenditures. Current expenditures include
instruction, student support services, food services and enterprise
operations. Beginning in 1988-89, extensive changes were made in
the data collection procedures.
So more is being spent and they don't feel like counting it. You decide if that's confusion, obfuscation, or fibbing. I'm still trying to figure out if riding the bus is included in the gargantuan number. 55 percent of students ride the bus, and it costs $854 per pupil per year to cart them around. That's over 23 billion dollars a year just to run public school buses and buy tram tickets.
If you had to write one big check for the whole twelve years of public education of the 88 percent or so of the entire population of the United States that doesn't (or didn't) go to private schools, at 2011 rates of $10,441 per person per year, it would be a check for thirty-three trillion, eight hundred forty-eight billion, eight hundred eighty-six million dollars.
I used twelve years, as even though some people drop out early, they're more than offset by the amount of years that are nailed on the front of an education now. "Pre-kindergarten" is mentioned in the figures. If they keep adding years of education, they'll be screaming into your fontanel through your mom's belly button. What they'll be screaming will not be of a factual nature, apparently, though.
Are we getting our money's worth? You tell me. I haven't made many purchases of 33 trillion dollars lately to compare it to. You might be a rich swell that leaves Krugerrands in the leave a penny
take a penny dish at the Kwik-E-Mart, but I don't think I'd write that fourteen-figure check just to qualify my fellow citizens to struggle over the last
unturned letter on Wheel of Fortune. Do you think one out of a hundred of those kids could even do the math from the last few paragraphs on a piece of paper? I was told there'd be no math on this exam. Until after collage, anyway.
I asked my teenager the questions. He got Biden's first name wrong, and rattled off the rest, of course, while he looked at me funny. He never took his eyes off the video game he was playing while answering, but I swear that somehow he still managed to look at me funny. Does someone not know this stuff? I asked my eight-year-old the questions. He's never heard of Joe Biden, which is no great loss, but he answered almost all the questions correctly. But then again, how many of those kids in the video can do President math?
In my opinion, public school is not a serious place, so we don't send our children there. It just costs a lot of money, and so is made to seem more important than it is by its very size. But for all its faults, the public school system is at least producing kids that know how to make moderately amusing YouTube videos. That's a growth industry, I hear. I sure hope it accounts for thirty-three trillion dollars of future tax receipts. I am plagued with doubt.