Terence Jeffery, The Daily Signal
In 2019, and 2020, thirteen-year-olds in American public schools weren’t as proficient in math and reading as in 2012 and 2012.
This is despite the fact that American taxpayers invested more money per pupil in the nation’s public schools in each of the last two fiscal years than they did in 2012.
The bottom line is that increased spending on public education didn’t pay off.
The Census Bureau reported that the United States spent $11,608 per pupil for its public elementary school and secondary schools in fiscal 2012. The per pupil expenditure in fiscal 2020 was $14,55 for the 35 US states and District of Columbia, according to Census Bureau reports.
Fiscal year 2019, for which full national data are now available, saw the United States spend $13,187 per pupil at its public schools.
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The $10,608 that was spent per pupil between June 2012 dollars and June 2019 dollars still comes to just $11,841 per pupil. This means that in 2019, the real per pupil expenditure in American public schools was $1,346 higher than in 2012.
In 2012 however, the average reading score of 13-year olds in public schools was 261 out of 500 on the National Assessment of Educational Progress long term trend test. According to last week’s results from the National Center for Education Statistics they will score an average of 261 out of 500 in reading, which is a decrease of 1 point.
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Public school students aged 13 years old scored 284 points on the National Assessment of Educational Progress long term trend math test. Their average score was 279 in 2020. That’s a drop of five points.
“The reading and mathematics scores of 13-year-old students fell between 2012 and 2020—the first time in the almost 50-year history of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) long-term trend (LTT) assessment,” the National Center for Education Statistics announced in a press release last week.
American public schools had lower math and reading scores due to more dollars spent on each pupil.
But the National Assessment of Educational Progress’ latest long-term trend test also showed, again, that Catholic schools outperformed public schools.
The average score of 13-year olds in Catholic schools was 277/500 on the National Assessment of Educational Progress long term trend reading test. It was 16 points higher than the score of 13-year olds in public schools, which was 261
The average score of 13-year olds in Catholic schools was 277 for the National Assessment of Educational Progress reading exam. This was 17 points higher than the 13-year old average in public schools, which fell to 260.
The National Assessment of Educational Progress math test was taken by 13-year olds in Catholic schools. They scored 295 points out of 500. This was eleven points more than the score of 13-year old public school students who scored 284.
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On the National Assessment of Educational Progress math test, students aged 13 years old in Catholic schools achieved an average score of 293 for 2020. It was 14 percentage points better than the score of public school 13-year-olds got at 279.
What is the reason that reading and math scores among 13-year old American public school students have declined from 2012 to 2020. Maybe it is due to the Census American Time Use Survey showing how their relatives spend their time.
In 2012, according to this survey (which does not report on Americans under 15), those who were 15 and older spent an average of 0.33 hours per day “reading for personal interest.” By 2018, that had dropped to 0.26 hours.
It ticked up to 0.28 hour in 2019, and then to 0.34 hour in 2020.
According to the Census, Americans aged 15-19 years (the youngest age group reported in the survey), read 0.14 hours per year between May and December last year, the Census says. This is approximately 8 minutes and 24 second.
Americans aged between 15-19 spent 2.54 hours on average watching TV. Americans of this age spent nearly 18 times more time reading than they did watching TV.
Americans 15 to 19 years old also spent 1.88 hours per day—about one hour and 53 minutes—in “playing games and computer use for leisure.”
Reading was a favorite pastime of the oldest Americans. Those 75 and older spent 0.95 hours per day—about 57 minutes—reading. Those 65 to 74 years old spent 0.72 hours per day—about 43 minutes—reading.
According to Census data, Americans over 15 spend far more time reading than watching television,
In reality, Americans aged 55-64 spent on average 3.46 hours per week watching television from May to December 2020. Those 75 years and older watched an average of 5.2 hours.
Americans aged 15 or older spent on average 9.05 hours per day watching television, compared to 0.34 hours reading.
If there were a way to measure the ability of Americans at viewing TV, the average score is likely to be very high.
The Daily Signal permission granted permission for this syndicated article.