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Reviewing the results of the 2006 Program for International Student Assessment, Walter Williams notes:

..the longer American children are in school, the worse they perform compared to their international peers. In recent cross-country comparisons of fourth grade reading, math, and science, US students scored in the top quarter or top half of advanced nations. By age 15 these rankings drop to the bottom half. In other words, American students are farthest behind just as they are about to enter higher education or the workforce.” That’s a sobering thought. The longer kids are in school and the more money we spend on them, the further behind they get.

Australia does not participate in PISA, but I would be surprised if our results were much different.

There is no evidence that throwing money at education, or any of the popular demands like smaller class sizes, a laptop for every student, etc, make the slightest bit of difference to learning outcomes.

What does? Making schools compete for students.

This leads to more involvement by parents, more concentration on learning as opposed to fluffy fillers, more cost effective personnel and resource management, and employment of more effective teachers.

The voucher system is one way of achieving this. Bring it on!

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