In recent education quotes pertaining to country average spending, the U.S. spends more for education than any other developed nation in a study released by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Analyzing quotes on education spending in the same report for teacher salaries across nations shows that the U.S. is in the top spot there as well.
But, what does that spending get us? Despite the level of spending, the students in the United States frequently score behind other countries. Citing the educational quotes from the Federal Reserve, all consumer debt has declined since 2004, except for student loans, which have tripled. Again, we are outspending and over leveraging, but to what purpose? The graduate unemployment rate for the U.S. is currently at 14 percent.
Calls to improve our education system are constant, but the methodologies are as diverse as the supporters. In one instance, there is a call to look at tying funding to graduation rates versus enrollment. This theory looks at the ways that schools, especially higher education, have an incentive to increase enrollment and keep students in school longer. If the model is turned so that funding is based on successful graduation and placements, then the efficiency would naturally increase. While this is the simplified view, there would have to be checks in place to insure that the graduation rate was valid for students, otherwise we have an increase in the graduated unemployment all over again.
Another solution for educational reform championed by Mark Kantrowitz is to require students participate in debt counseling. With educational quotes for student loans increasing, this would help mitigate the current debt issues while putting students in place for future success as well. In fact, for current student loans, some families do not know about their income based repayment options. The loans do not help if graduates are struggling with repayment and less than optimum career choices after finishing school.
Getting the true value out of education with more efficient spending will require careful study and possible some trial and error implementation. At the rate we are spending without getting value, this might not be a bad idea.