Teacher Claims Sweden Cares More and Spends More on Education Than the U.S.–Richard Rider Responds in Dollars and Sense

Richard Rider, San Diego Tax Fighter, Pens a Letter to the Editor at the Union Tribune–Rejected, he shares it with the public anyway, and I’m sharing it here.  We not only spend more, but he points out what does help Sweden out-perform the U.S.  Sweden supports competition, and empowers their population with school choice, showing real commitment to putting students first:

Dear U-T Editor:

This is an expanded version of a letter I submitted to the SAN DIEGO U-T. Didn’t run, but no need for my research and insights to go to waste. Here ya go.

—–

Dear Editor:

Teacher Sharon Collins’ letter selflessly calls for higher taxes for education, citing socialist Sweden as her shining light.
http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/jun/21/letters-sd-schools-teachers-labor-pact/?print&page=all
She didn’t do her homework.

She thinks Sweden values education more than America because they have a 25 percent sales tax (actually a VAT tax). But that high tax tells us nothing.

For a meaningful comparison, look at education spending per student. Of the 32 OECD counties (the economically advanced countries of the world) providing data, in 2008 Sweden ranks 6th in primary school per student spending, the U.S. 5th. Sweden ranks 9th in secondary school spending, the U.S. ranks 4th.

Sweden spent $9,080 per primary school student. The U.S. spent $9,940. Sweden spent $9,940 per secondary school student — the U.S. spent $12,007.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/888932463593

Think that’s not a fair comparison? Compare spending as a percent of GDP. Sweden spends 4.0% of GDP on K-12 education. The U.S. spends 4.1% — without a 25 percent “sales tax.” The OECD average is 3.8%.
http://www.keepeek.com/Digital-Asset-Management/oecd/education/education-at-a-glance-2011/what-proportion-of-national-wealth-is-spent-on-education_eag-2011-17-en

But here’s the kicker — since 1993 Sweden has had a full-blown school voucher system. ANY parent can take the money spent on public schools and use it for sending their kids to private schools — religious or secular.

All Swedish schools compete for students, making the kids’ education a higher priority than the welfare of the school employees. While controversial when first adopted, education vouchers are now a non-issue in Sweden, as almost everyone supports the common sense choice and competition that this option offers.
http://open.salon.com/blog/richard_rider/2011/01/30/swedens_school_voucher_system_is_a_model_for_america

Inadvertently, teacher Collins picked an interesting subject on which to “school” us. Class dismissed.

Richard Rider

Gadfly Radio with Martha and CalWatchDog: Tonight, Ben Boychuk, John Seiler, with Special guest, Ben Limoine, on Nat’l School Choice Week, and the New Orleans Miracle

Gadfly Radio Tonight, at 8 PM PT


Live Call in number: 1-818-602-4929
Jan 24, 2012:  Tonight live at 8 p.m. PT on Gadfly Radio, Martha Montelongo along with Ben Boychuk of CA City Journal and John Seiler of CalWatchDog.com.  Special Guest Ben Limoine of Fleurish Productions and Producer of the film documenting the transformation of New Orleans schools after Katrina in the film called The Experiment.


This week is National School Choice Week, and we’ll talk with Ben about what that means and about his film, The Experiment and what is so special about New Orleans schools today, post Hurricane Katrina?  The movie is available right now on Starz, and Netflix for on demand viewing! 

Related Links:

Editorial: Superintendent Deasy, LAUSD board member Galatzan to attend town hall – LA Daily News

Gov. Jerry Brown said in this week’s State of the State address that K-12 education will lose nearly $5 billion next year if voters don’t approve his tax measures in November. And in response to the budget pressures, LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy has called for putting $270-a-year parcel tax on the ballot.  

Whistle-blowing teachers to open a charter school – Los Angeles Times 

They lost their jobs during a cheating scandal at Crescendo schools. Former union chief and charter foe A.J. Duffy will lead them.

 
Whitney Tilson’s School Reform Blog: At his charter school, ex-UTLA head would target tenure 

The longtime anti-charter crusader wants to make it harder for teachers to earn tenure protections and wants to lengthen that process.

He even wants to require teachers to demonstrate that they remain effective in the classroom if they want to keep their tenure protections.

And if a tenured teacher becomes ineffective, he wants to streamline dismissals.

The process now in place can stretch out for several years, even with substantial evidence of gross misconduct.

Some union leaders, notably Duffy, have defended this “due process” as a necessary protection against administrative abuses.

“I would make it 10 days if I could,” Duffy now says of the length of the dismissal process.

And what does Duffy’s [predecessor]… think of his [A.J. Duffy’s] new direction? Not much — LOL! 

Former UTLA President John Perez said he wished Duffy well but said he could not endorse Duffy’s new direction. Charter school operators, he said, are laying the groundwork for using public-school funds at private schools through so-called vouchers. They’re also opening the door for corporations “who want to destroy public education by getting their hands on the hundreds of billions of dollars we spend on public education in this country,” Perez said. 

Golden Missed Opportunity by Larry Sand – City Journal

School choice is on the move everywhere—except California.

We’ll take your calls, questions and comments on the air at 1-818-602-4929 on on FB instant chat or Twitter.

 

I am a stand for liberty, integrity, empowerment, and prosperity for all people; a stand for vibrant and innovative small businesses that create jobs, that in the process of prospering, nurture and support creative and dynamic culture, in the work place, and in our personal lives.



Thank you for supporting our program, by listening, sponsoring, and or sharing this post with others. 

It’s a pleasure to share this program with 
CalWatchDog’s team of government policy watch dogs and the great investigative work they produce! 

Tuesday nights live, on Gadfly Radio in Southern California or where ever you are. California, the land of beauty and unlimited possibility because of the abundance of our greatest capital resource, our human resources, when we get it right. Join us. 

Or you can listen to a podcast later, if you miss the live call-in show by clicking on the white player to stream or the orange player to download and or subscribe to Gadfly on iTunes:


iTunes

Gadfly Radio with Martha and CalWatchDog: Tonight, Ben Boychuk, John Seiler, with Special guests Bob Bowdon on Ed & Joel Fox Pension Reform

Gadfly Radio Tonight, at 8 PM PT


Live Call in number: 1-818-602-4929
Jan 17, 2012:  Tonight live at 8 p.m. PT on Gadfly Radio, Martha Montelongo along with Ben Boychuk of CA City Journal and John Seiler of CalWatchDog.com.  Bob Bowdon is the founder of ChoiceMedia.TV and the producer and director of the film The Cartel. Joel Fox is the Editor at Fox & Hounds political daily.

We’ll visit with Bob Bowdon about the second annual National School Choice Week coming up next week, from Jan 22nd to the 28th. Bob is going to be involved speaking, reporting, and filming at events all across the USA. He’s got a lot of exciting information to share.

We’re going to speak with Joel about two op-eds he recently published in Fox & Hounds, and one of them was also published in CA Political Review. We’ll speak with Joel Fox about Initiatives Weapon of Choice in Policy Wars published today, and a precursor article, Public Employment Retirement Costs Are At “Tipping Point” published earlier this month. 

We’ll take your calls, questions and comments on the air at 1-818-602-4929 on on FB instant chat or Twitter.

 

I am a stand for liberty, integrity, empowerment, and prosperity for all people; a stand for vibrant and innovative small businesses that create jobs, that in the process of prospering, nurture and support creative and dynamic culture, in the work place, and in our personal lives.



Thank you for supporting our program, by listening, sponsoring, and or sharing this post with others. 

It’s a pleasure to share this program with 
CalWatchDog’s team of government policy watch dogs and the great investigative work they produce! 

Tuesday nights live, on Gadfly Radio in Southern California or where ever you are. California, the land of beauty and unlimited possibility because of the abundance of our greatest capital resource, our human resources, when we get it right. Join us. 

Or you can listen to a podcast later, if you miss the live call-in show by clicking on the white player to stream or the orange player to download and or subscribe to Gadfly on iTunes:


iTunes

Free Association: Talking Education on Reason TV

Sheldon Richman is editor of The Freeman, published by The Foundation for Economic Education in Irvington, New York, and serves as senior fellow at The Future of Freedom Foundation. He is the author of FFF’s award-winning book Separating School & State: How to Liberate America’s Families; Your Money or Your Life: Why We Must Abolish the Income Tax; and FFF’s newest book Tethered Citizens: Time to Repeal the Welfare State.

Calling for the abolition, not the reform, of public schooling. Separating School & State has become a landmark book in both libertarian and educational circles. In his column in the Financial Times, Michael Prowse wrote: “I recommend a subversive tract, Separating School & State by Sheldon Richman of the Cato Institute, a Washington think tank… . I also think that Mr. Richman is right to fear that state education undermines personal responsibility…” Click here to go to Sheldon Richman’s Blog.

Head to Head: Should state support its ‘parent trigger’ law? A resounding ‘Yes!’

On Tuesday, in the SacBee, Pia Lopez, a Sec Bee Columnist and Ben Boychuk of the Heartland Institute wrote this very instructive op-ed on California’s Parent Trigger Law, what it is, what does, and why it should be supported.

Ben Austin, Executive Director of The Parent Revolution joins me on Saturday night on KRLA, 870AM at 11PM Pacific Time for a conversation on this issue!

THE ISSUE: California enacted the nation’s first “parent trigger” law last year, giving parents the right to petition their school board to transform schools that are underperforming. Pia Lopez and Ben Boychuk share uncommon agreement: This law should be preserved.

The assault on California’s year-old parent empowerment law – better known as the “parent trigger” – offers liberals and conservatives a rare opportunity to defend a unique reform that advances the common good, promotes freedom of choice, and uses a time-honored democratic process to force the public education system to adopt changes it would otherwise reject.

The parent trigger is a modest law – fewer than 600 words – but it has the potential to upend the public education status quo. Simply, if at least half of eligible parents at a persistently underperforming school sign a petition, school district officials must undertake one of four options prescribed by state and federal law.

The first test will come in the Compton Unified School District, in southern Los Angeles County. On Dec. 7, 62 percent of parents at McKinley Elementary submitted a petition requesting that the school board convert the school to a charter school.

Meanwhile, a group of parents at Mount Gleason Middle School in the Los Angeles suburb of Sunland are circulating a petition to replace the school’s principal.

Click here to read more.

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