The $100,000 Question
By the time the average public school student approaches the age of 18, taxpayers will have spent
more than $100,000 to provide him or her with an education. The size of this investment demonstrates our country’s commitment to education.So what are we getting for this six-figure investment? Not enough.
American students’ scores on the 12th-grade NAEP tests highlight the pervasive mediocrity in
K-12 public schools. On the most recent mathematics exam, only 23 percent of 12th graders scored
“Proficient” in mathematics.
Further, 39 percent scored “below Basic,” meaning that they could not “perform computations with real numbers and estimate the results of numerical calculations.”
In reading, only 35 percent of high school seniors scored “Proficient,” indicating that they are able “to show an overall understanding of the text which includes inferential as well as literal information.”