With SAT scores at their lowest in 40 years, one conservative
education analyst says taxpayers are not getting a lot of return on
the billions of dollars spent on public education.
Neal McCluskey of the Cato Institute says many factors have to be
considered when looking at SAT scores, but when compared to other
statistics for measuring academic achievement, the scores present a
"When you look at it in conjunction with things like the
National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), which is
nationally representative for 17-year-olds, and you look at
international exams, you can't help but conclude that we are at
best just standing still," he offers.
McCluskey asserts there is no correlation between student
achievement and the amount of money spent on education.
"You can see that spending per pupil in the last 40 years or so
has well more than doubled, but then we get these scores -- SAT
now, but also the NAEP scores, the international assessments --
either it's stagnant or getting worse," the analyst explains.
He contends the answer to bumping up student achievement is
school choice, which promotes innovation and healthy competition