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Charts: OECD Report Shows US Lagging On Education Spending

Screen Shot 2016-09-16 at 12.21.08 PMPBS NewsHour: Are U.S. children getting the best education for the dollar? 


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The distorting bias built into this chart as presented here is striking. Just looking at it, and where it is cut off, one might get the impression that the U.S. spends relatively little on education, and is cheating its children; whereas reading the original report and its fuller presentation of the data shows this to be misleading. Figure B1.4 on page 187 shows American spending on primary and secondary education to be above the averages for both the European Union and for the OECD as a whole; and if you include spending on tertiary education, the U.S. overall spending on education soars to the top.

People with agendas manipulate statistics, and lazy reporting uncritically repeats distortions via headlines like the above; while better reading of original sources can help to answer PBS's original question in its report as follows: U.S. children are not getting the best education for the dollar, and if value for money were the main criterion being sought, they would do better to have their education based on the Finnish system -- although better quality still might be found by granting Swiss freedom to a district operated like Singapore's, whose children really do get the best education for the dollar.

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