What’s the biggest mystery in American history?

Victor Joecks

Roswell? The Kennedy assassination? As a kid, I was fascinated with the Roanoke mystery.

But blogger Bruce Deitrick Price has a different answer.

Here is my nominee for biggest mystery: the decline and fall of public school education. Don’t agree? Give me a minute and I’ll convince you.

Here are the towering facts: The U.S. spends a huge amount on education; more per student than anyone else; more and more every year. Simultaneously, over the last 70 years, literacy has fallen, SAT scores have fallen, American competitiveness has fallen, and the general knowledge of ordinary citizens has fallen. Teenagers graduate from high school who can’t read their diplomas; the country now has 50,000,000 functional illiterates. I recently saw on television that the wealthiest, most successful country in the world–that would be us–hovers around 18th internationally on reading, and 25th in science.

I submit that all of these facts taken together are paradoxical; one might say, impossible. It’s as if I told you that an ordinary man consumed 5000 calories a day and lost weight. So this, I submit, is the greatest mystery in our history.

But why have our educators allowed this decline to take place? Or is “allowed” a trick word, and they have actually abetted this failure? Ah, mystery on top of mystery. This is a puzzle that academic historians should be trying to solve.

For starters, can’t we all agree that genuine experts, making a sincere effort, would have our schools functioning at a higher level? Why, oh why, don’t our educators do a much better job?

For his answer, you’re going to have to read his whole post, The Biggest Mystery in American History.

The good news for Nevada, where over 40 percent of our fourth graders can’t even read at a basic level, is that there is a state where reforms have dramatically increased education results. That state is Florida, and the results show that failure should no longer be an option for Nevada.

Or check out this comprehensive list of studies on vouchers. Money quote:

9 of the 10 analyses show significant, positive effects for at least some subgroups of students.

All of them have been published in peer reviewed journals or were subject to outside peer review by the federal government.

With the right reforms, Nevada can solve this mystery.

(h/t Hotair)