April 15, 2008

Cost of Public Education Rising Faster Than the Cost of Gasoline

Readers know that I like a good visual aid. So, it shouldn't be surprising that I like this graph from Carpe Diem:

The chart shows that the retail price of public education per pupil has risen faster than the retail price of a gallon of gasoline.

I like the chart because it puts the steep rise in gasoline prices in contrast to the even steeper price of public education. And, of course, I can choose to forgo gassing up my gas-guzzlin' SUV, but I'm paying the price of public education whether I want to or not.

PS: You can always spot an effective post by the presence and strength of a Stephen Downes' argument in the comment thread. Stephen seems to be compelled to answer every blog post he disagrees with, a Sisyphean task if ever there was one. Unfortunately, he doesn't always have a good/persuasive argument to respond with.


Anonymous said...

What exactly is it that's wrong with Stephen's point? His comment was combative, but his point is legitimate. The way you wrote your post script, all I know is that you seem to enjoy disagreeing with Stephen.

KDeRosa said...

Dave Stephen's price point spend point distinction is pure sophistry. To purchase a unit (a gallon) of gas I need to spend a certain amount of money. To purchase a unit (a year's worth) of education for the average student taxpayers need to spend a certain amount of money. The amount of money spent to acquire a unit of education is rising faster than the amount of money spend to acquire a unit of gas.

Moreover, the quality of both the gas and the education hasn't changed appreciably during the time period in question, so we are comparing apples to apples. The change in vehicular technology is also irrelevant to this point.

I only enjoy disagreeing with Stephen when he's wrong. But, I also enjoy agreeing with Stephen when he is right and he is occasisonally right.