Suppose your job is to train people. To do certain work at your company. And suppose you use various exams. To find out how well they are trained.
Your company puts $200,000 into your budget. They adjust it each year to compensate for inflation. You set about your training. You give your exams. You determine how well or poorly your trainees do.
Now suppose you raise the ante. You ask the company to increase your training budget. You claim that with a bigger budget you will improve your trainees performances. You pay for consultants to re-shape your programs. You hire extra trainers and trainer assistants. You spend more money to train your teachers. You give your teachers big raises and more benefits.
Ah, but your spending does no good. In fact, your trainees’ scores drop on their exams.
You double up. You persuade your company to add even more to your budget. You add more consultants. You train teachers more. You give them more assistants. And more money and benefits. You buy more manuals, newer training equipment.
Ah, but your trainees’ scores drop more.
Suppose this pattern continues for fifty years. You ask for more money. You pour it into your training program. The trainees continue to do worse on exams. Your latest trainees cannot pass the exams trainees of fifty years ago passed.
By now your spending per trainee is three times what it was when you started.
What is your next move? Do you ask for an increase in your training budget? Do you bare your fangs at anyone who suggests you trim your budget?
This is where we are with our spending on education. We spend three times more on each student today than we spent in 1960. This is three times more after, after we adjust for inflation. Three times more!..