Utterly Meaningless » Blog Archive » NOT AN HEK, FOR SURE
  • NOT AN HEK, FOR SURE

    Filed at 4:27 am under by dcobranchi

    From a column of “facts” about home education:

    The National Household Education Surveys Program estimated about 1.1 million students were being home-schooled in the country in 2003, a rate that has doubled over the past decade. It is still a small percentage (0.05) of the total school-aged children.

    Wow! I didn’t realize that there were 2.2B school-age kids in the country. Of course, the accurate figure is closer to 50M and HEKs comprise somewhere around 2 percent.

    11 Responses to “NOT AN HEK, FOR SURE”


    Comment by
    Tad
    May 31st, 2005
    at 12:57 pm

    He’s an NEA — Not Educated Adult.


    Comment by
    Ian Lewis
    May 31st, 2005
    at 3:50 pm

    I know that this is slightly off subject, but I often get upset when I see reporters state how much the United States spends on (public) education. And they often put that number at something like 200-250 billion dollars a year, when, in fact, the number is closer to 1 trillion.

    And then at some point, invariably, they will mention how expensive private school is.


    Comment by
    Ian Lewis
    May 31st, 2005
    at 3:53 pm

    Hey Daryl, I know this is a little belated, but what camera were you using for the “Hummingbird” shot.


    Comment by
    Daryl
    May 31st, 2005
    at 4:06 pm

    Olympus C-740 UltraZoom. If you’re in the market, I suggest trying to find a C-750 on eBay. I bought my dad a refurb for $212 a couple weeks ago– 4 Mp, sound recording in still and video mode, and a much larger LCD. Other than that, the 740 and the 750 are essentially identical. The C-770 and C-765 are the current versions.


    Comment by
    Ian Lewis
    May 31st, 2005
    at 5:31 pm

    That is a good camera. Olympus is building an excellent reputation in this ultra-zoom market. Personally, I have a Panasonic fz-15. I like it a lot, but I rarely get to use it.


    Comment by
    Chris
    May 31st, 2005
    at 6:29 pm

    I have the C720 – the 3 megapixel precursor to Daryl’s camera. We love it.


    Comment by
    Daryl
    May 31st, 2005
    at 8:27 pm

    I didn’t remember that you had the Olympus- only that I was very jealous of that big zoom.


    Comment by
    Gene
    June 1st, 2005
    at 1:26 am

    Ian, Can I ask where you got the 1 trillion number? I wonder what the total is including what the parents spend in addition to what is collected in the form of taxes.


    Comment by
    Ian Lewis
    June 1st, 2005
    at 8:43 am

    “Ian, Can I ask where you got the 1 trillion number?” Sure. I believe that the number for 2003 or 2004 is actually 850 Billion. But, to answer your question, it is the sum of all money spent by the Federal, State and local governments on education. The reason why I say 1 trillion instead of 850 billion is because of all of the gov’t money that is spent on public education that wouldnt have been spent if the ogvernment had never gotten involved in the first place. Also, it is a number that Rod Paige (Sec. of Educaction) quoted in the Wall Street Journal.

    As a side note, this sort of relates to the subject of government spending as a whole. Often, reports will say that the United States gov’t spent about 2.3 trillion dollars. What they meant to say is that the US FEDERAL gov’t spent that much. All of the gov’ts combined (that is, all State and local spending) comes to about 3.3 – 3.5 trillion.

    I hope that helps.


    Comment by
    Ian Lewis
    June 1st, 2005
    at 10:02 am

    Gene, I just re-read your question and realized that I didn’t answer it. You wanted to know what parents spend in addition. Sorry, I have no clue what these numbers are.
    I am assuming that you are refering to things like after-school tutoring, school supplies, field trips (where parents need to chip in) and (my favorite) voluntary spending on public schools.
    That last part is in reference to many schools that now have fund drives to help pay for things at the school that aren’t covered by the government (tax-payer) spending. These fund drives are often done at schools that already cost more than $10,000 per student.


    Comment by
    Tad
    June 2nd, 2005
    at 11:26 am

    Milton Lieberman provides a great, if somewhat dated, analysis of the smoke and mirrors of education spending and funding in his book Public Education: An autopsy. And the reported numbers are definately smoke and mirrors, totally unrelated to reality.

    Utah is typically dead last in terms of (reported) per pupil spending, which always results in a hue and cry for more spending as if we were in a race to see who can spend the most. This is amazing when one considers that we are ranked #3 in terms of local taxes as a percent of personal income and 100% of our state income tax (personal and corporate) and 2/3 of our property taxes go to public education. (Over 40% of the state budget goes to Public Ed, another almost 20% to higher ed.)

    Two things are clear though: First, public education is the biggest receiver of public funds in the nation. Second, the entrenched bureaucracy wants to keep it that way.