Tag Archives: Public Schools

Has increased education spending in schools improved student performance in test scores?

When I want a raise, I work harder, but these teachers hold up signs
When I want a raise, I work harder, but lazy teachers quit working to hold signs

One of my friends has been having a debate with one of his former teachers about whether spending more money on government-run education improves tests scores. He tried posting some evidence, but she just dismissed that by claiming:

  1. If we hadn’t spent more money, then the student test scores would have gone down instead of staying the same.
  2. Most of the money that government spends on education goes to vouchers and private schools, not public schools
  3. Economists at prestigious think tanks like that Cato Institute, the Heritage Foundation, and the American Enterprise Institute cannot be trusted to accurately cite the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the National Center for Education Statistics because of the Koch Brothers
  4. You can’t compare the test scores of American students with the test scores of Asian students who outperform them, (for less government spending), because math is different in Asia compared to America

Let’s look at some data and see if her arguments are correct.

Does more spending mean higher student performance?

National Review reported on data collected in the National Assessment of Educational Progress, which spans all 50 states.

Look:

Comparing educational achievement with per-pupil spending among states also calls into question the value of increasing expenditures. While high-spending Massachusetts had the nation’s highest proficiency scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, low-spending Idaho did very well, too. South Dakota ranks 42nd in per-pupil expenditures but eighth in math performance and ninth in reading. The District of Columbia, meanwhile, with the nation’s highest per-pupil expenditures ($15,511 in 2007), scores dead last in achievement.

The student test scores are dead last, but National Review notes that “according to the National Center for Education Statistics, Washington, D.C. was spending an average of $27,460 per pupil in 2014, the most recent year for which data are available.” They are spending the most per-pupil, but their test scores are dead last.

CBS News reported on another recent study confirming this:

Decades of increased taxpayer spending per student in U.S. public schools has not improved student or school outcomes from that education, and a new study finds that throwing money at the system is simply not tied to academic improvements.

The study from the CATO Institute shows that American student performance has remained poor, and has actually declined in mathematics and verbal skills, despite per-student spending tripling nationwide over the same 40-year period.

“The takeaway from this study is that what we’ve done over the past 40 years hasn’t worked,” Andrew Coulson, director of the Center For Educational Freedom at the CATO Institute, told Watchdog.org. “The average performance change nationwide has declined 3 percent in mathematical and verbal skills. Moreover, there’s been no relationship, effectively, between spending and academic outcomes.”

The study, “State Education Trends: Academic Performance and Spending over the Past 40 Years,” analyzed how billions of increased taxpayer dollars, combined with the number of school employees nearly doubling since 1970, to produce stagnant or declining academic results.

“The performance of 17-year-olds has been essentially stagnant across all subjects despite a near tripling of the inflation-adjusted cost of putting a child through the K-12 system,” writes Coulson.

Where did the numbers come from? The Koch Brothers? No:

Data from the U.S. Department of Education incorporating public school costs, number of employees, student enrollment and SAT scores was analyzed to explore the disparity between increased spending and decreasing or stagnant academic results.

Well, at least government-run monopoly schools outperform private private schools, right? No:

[…][P]rivate schools, where students excel over public school peers, …manage to operate at budgets about 34 percent lower than taxpayer-funded schools, US Finance Post reports.

Public schools spend, on average, $11,000 per student, per year.

Coulson noted an Arizona study he conducted which showed that the average per-pupil spending at private schools was only about 66 percent of the cost of public schools.

A more recent state-specific study from 2016 found that this is still the case.

This problem gets even worse when you look at test scores from other countries, where even less is spent on education.

As the Washington Post reported at the end of 2016:

When it comes to math, U.S. high school students are falling further behind their international counterparts, according to results released Tuesday of an ongoing study that compares academic achievement in 73 countries. And the news is not much better in reading and science literacy, where U.S. high schoolers have not gained any ground and continue to trail students in a slew of developed countries around the globe.

In the latest Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) measuring math literacy in 2015, U.S. students ranked 40th in the world. The U.S. average math score of 470 represents the second decline in the past two assessments — down from 482 in 2012 and 488 in 2009. The U.S. score in 2015 was 23 points lower than the average of all of the nations taking part in the survey.

More money is being spent, but the scores are DECREASING.

Now, why is it that increased government spending in the public school monopoly doesn’t improve student performance? Well, one reason is that very little of the money makes it to the classroom.

Where does all the money go?

Let’s look at four places where the money spent on the government-run public school monopoly ends up.

Administration

First, a lot of it gets paid to administrations who implement politically correct programs designed to turn the impressionable young people into little secular socialists.

Here’s a helpful chart from the American Enterprise Institute:

Where does taxpayer money spent on the public school monopoly go?
Where does taxpayer money spent on the public school monopoly go?

I guess if a school wants to make things like Planned Parenthood sex education and LGBT indoctrination into priorities, then they would need more administrators.

Pensions

Second, education employees get enormous pensions, which are paid by taxpayers and negotiated by their unions. You would never see pensions this large in the private sector.

This is from the leftist Brookings Institute, from 2014:

This figure shows we now spend nearly $1,100 per student on retirement benefits. The average public school student teacher ratio is 16 to 1. So we are spending about $17,000 per year per teacher in pension contributions.

[…]The National Council on Teacher Quality writes,

In 2014 teacher pension systems had a total of a half trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities—a debt load that climbed more than $100 billion in just the last two years. Across the states, an average of 70 cents of every dollar contributed to state teacher pension systems goes toward paying off the ever-increasing pension debt, not to future teacher benefits (p. iii).

While we are spending a huge amount to fund teacher pensions, most of that spending doesn’t go to attracting the best teachers. It’s paying off past debts.

We can’t hire good teachers, because all the education spending of today is paying for the gold-plated pensions of yesterday.

That was 2014. The numbers are even worse today. Teachers contribute very, very little to their pensions, but the benefits are enormous compared to what the private sector taxpayers get in Social Security. (Which is going to be bankrupt by 2034, as reported by the far-left PBS)

Teacher training

Third, a lot of it is spent on teacher training, because apparently teaching multiplication, Shakespeare or geography changes every year, so the teachers need tens of thousands of dollars in annual training.

The Washington Post reports on a recent study:

A new study of 10,000 teachers found that professional development — the teacher workshops and training that cost taxpayers billions of dollars each year — is largely a waste.

The study released Tuesday by TNTP, a nonprofit organization, found no evidence that any particular approach or amount of professional development consistently helps teachers improve in the classroom.

[…]The school districts that participated in the study spent an average of $18,000 per teacher annually on professional development. Based on that figure, TNTP estimates that the 50 largest school districts spend an estimated $8 billion on teacher development annually. That is far larger than previous estimates.

And teachers spend a good deal of time in training, the study found. The 10,000 teachers surveyed were in training an average of 19 school days a year, or almost 10 percent of a typical school year, according to TNTP.

Maybe if more of the money spent on education were spent directly on hiring teachers, then we would see an improvement. Unfortunately, a lot of the money meant for teachers goes to the teacher unions. How do they spend that money?

Political Contributions

Finally, this is from OpenSecrets.org, concerning political contributions made in the most recent election cycle:

Top Political Contributors in 2016 election cycle
Top Political Contributors in 2016 election cycle

The two largest teacher unions came in at #9 and #11. Most of their donations go to Democrat Party. Democrats believe (against the evidence) that spending more money in the government-run public school monopoly will improve student performance on tests.

So, what’s the solution?

The solution is that we abolish the federal Department of Education, which has done nothing to improve the quality of education for students. We need to push the education of children back down to the state and local levels. We need to empower parents to choose the schools that work best for their children by giving parents vouchers. We need to increase tax-free education savings accounts to help parents with school expenses. We should also give free college tuition to homeschooled students who are admitted to STEM programs at any college or university. We can take the money from the pensions of the union administrators, after we abolish ever single public sector teacher union in the country, and seize all their assets and pensions. If that’s not enough money, then we can seize all the pensions of Department of Education employees – a just punishment for their failure to produce results while still taking taxpayer money.

Finally, we should allow people who already have private sector experience doing things like STEM to become teachers. Let’s face it: the departments that grant Education degrees have the lowest entrance requirements, and produce the least competent adults. People with years of private sector work experience teach better than people with Education degrees. Let’s open up teaching to people who have experience in the private sector doing software engineering, statistics, nursing, etc. and then we’ll have qualified teachers.

Fascism in Canada: grad student dragged into kangaroo court for showing debate clip

Criminalizing speech that makes people feel bad is illegal in Canada

Brace yourself for the most blatant infringement on a student’s rights by a secular-leftist university administration that you have ever heard with your own ears. This story comes to us from Ontario, Canada, home of the famous fascist Ontario Human Rights Commission, which prosecutes people for having thoughts that are not approved of by government elites.

A news story appeared in the National Post. (H/T Amy)

Excerpt:

During a seminar with first-year communications students, Wilfrid Laurier University teaching assistant Lindsay Shepherd screened a TVOntario debate to illustrate the sometimes-controversial politics of grammar.

The video, an episode of The Agenda with Steve Paikin, included University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson presenting his case against the use of non-gendered pronouns. It also included panellists taking the opposite viewpoint.

Nevertheless, after an anonymous student complained, Shepherd found herself reprimanded for violating the school’s Gendered and Sexual Violence policy. In a subsequent meeting with university officials, she was accused of creating a “toxic” and “problematic” environment that constituted violence against transgendered students. She was also falsely told that she had broken the law.

Shepherd recorded the meeting. Audio and selected transcripts are below. The voices are of Shepherd, her supervising professor Nathan Rambukkana, another professor, Herbert Pimlott, as well as Adria Joel, manager of Gendered Violence Prevention and Support at the school.

Just so you know, TVOntario would be the equivalent of your local state-level PBS. This is a government-run, publicly-funded TV station. Fully licensed by the CRTC.

Here’s a clip from the transcript, where the Communication Studies professor threatens the student with criminal prosecution:

Rambukkana: …[Peterson] lectures about critiquing feminism, critiquing trans rights —

Shepherd: I’m familiar. I follow him. But can you shield people from those ideas? Am I supposed to comfort them and make sure that they are insulated away from this? Like, is that what the point of this is? Because to me, that is so against what a university is about. So against it. I was not taking sides. I was presenting both arguments.

Rambukkana: So the thing about this is, if you’re presenting something like this, you have to think about the kind of teaching climate that you’re creating. And this is actually, these arguments are counter to the Canadian Human Rights Code. Even since … C-16, ever since this passed, it is discriminatory to be targeting someone due to their gender identity or gender expression.

Debate on secular left dogma is not permitted in Canada, because it’s their state religion:

Rambukkana: Do you see how this is something that is not intellectually neutral, that is kind of “up for debate,” I mean this is the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Shepherd: But it is up for debate.

Rambukkana: You’re perfectly welcome to your own opinion, but when you’re bringing it into the context of the classroom that can become problematic, and that can become something that is, that creates an unsafe learning environment for students.

Shepherd: But when they leave the university they’re going to be exposed to these ideas, so I don’t see how I’m doing a disservice to the class by exposing them to ideas that are really out there. And I’m sorry I’m crying, I’m stressed out because this to me is so wrong, so wrong.

That’s right – these left-wing fascists actually made her cry.

The professors tell her that being neutral and showing both sides is also a violation of the Ontario Human Rights Code:

Rambukkana: Do you understand how what happened was contrary to, sorry Adria, what was the policy?

Joel: Gendered and Sexual Violence.

Rambukkana: — Gendered and Sexual Violence Policy. Do you understand how —

Shepherd: Sorry, what did I violate in that policy.

Joel: Um, so, gender-based violence, transphobia, in that policy. Causing harm, um, to trans students by, uh, bringing their identity as invalid. Their pronouns as invalid — potentially invalid.

Shepherd: So I caused harm?

Joel: — which is, under the Ontario Human Rights Code a protected thing so something that Laurier holds as a value.

If you want to share a quick news clip on social media, here’s a quick 12 minute news report from one of Canada’s most famous free-speech warriors, the irreppressible Ezra Levant:

You can hear 10 minutes of the recording here:

The full recording is here. (42 minutes)

Imagine that this happened to you, and conducted by an institution that you paid for twice: with your taxes, and with your tuition money. You would literally be paying the thought police to make you cry for not agreeing with the politically correct approved Canadian thoughts about transgenderism. When Americans vote Democrat, we are walking along a path that will turn our entire country into a place like Ontario, Canada. There will be none of the freedoms guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution. Canada doesn’t have those freedoms, and that’s where the American left wants to take us. To be on the political left is to be a fascist. By definition. The Democrat Party simple IS the party of fascism. That’s their agenda. It doesn’t matter whether individual Democrat voters disagree with fascism, they are voting to take the country towards the fascism that we already see in Canada.

By the way, let this be a reminder to you to never drop math, and always study STEM subjects in university, with the best areas being engineering, especially petroleum engineering and computer science. Stay away from areas that are disconnected from reality. If it can’t be tested (English, Education, Communication Studies, Lesbian Dance Theory) then it shouldn’t be studied at a secular-leftist gulag. Communication Studies is what people study when they have no marketable skills, and don’t aspire to do meaningful private sector work. You need to avoid being part of the fascist big government machine, and that means having marketable skills.

Millennial snowflakes want socialism, but most of them cannot even define it

Millennials love socialism and communism
Millennials love socialism and communism

I like to make fun of millennials on this blog, because in my interactions with them, I find that they have great confidence and self-esteem in their own opinions, even though they have seldom done any study of the issues they’re confident about.

Campus Reform has a good example of millennial ignorance:

More than four-in-ten U.S. millennials would prefer to live under socialism than capitalism, according to a new survey by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.

When given the choice to pick a preferred system of government, 44 percent of millennials responded that they would rather live in a socialist country while another seven percent opted for a communist state. Capitalism, on the other hand, was preferred by 42 percent of millennial respondents, with the remaining 14 percent split evenly between fascism and communism.

According to the study, pro-socialist sentiment is much higher among millennials when compared to the rest of the country, noting that 59 percent of Americans say they would rather reside in a capitalist country, with only 35 percent of respondents signaling a preference for a socialist state.

Millennials were also about twice as likely as the general population to say they would prefer living in a fascist or communist country, with about seven percent choosing each option.

“The percentage of Millennials who would prefer socialism to capitalism is a full ten points higher than that of the general population,” the foundation observed in its report. “It seems that the majority of America’s largest generation would prefer to live in a socialist or communist society than in a free enterprise system that respects the rule of law, private property, and limited government.”

The survey also found that millennials, along with most other Americans, “either don’t know the definition of communism or misidentify it.”

[…]Consistent with the other findings, the survey also revealed that millennials are least opposed to communist ideology when compared to other age groups.

Let’s just take one example of this millennial ignorance.

The Daily Signal posted an article about a survey from last year on millennial attitudes towards communism.

Look at this:

The survey also revealed a general lack of historical knowledge, especially among young adults. According to the report, one-third (32 percent) of millennials believed that more people were killed under George W. Bush than under Joseph Stalin.

Bush killed more people than Stalin? First of all, Bush’s war was to liberate Iraq from radical Islam. You can see what happened when we pulled our forces out under Obama. Raped Yazidi sex-slaves, for one thing. Stalin killed people who disagreed with him – like the Ukrainian farmers I blogged about before. The number of war deaths in Iraq numbers in the tens of thousands, and most of those casualties are enemy casualties. I like dead terrorists, so that’s not a liability for me. The number of deaths under Stalin is somewhere around 40 million, most of those were innocent people.

Here are the brilliant millennials saying what they’ve been taught to say so that people will be impressed:

They’re just idiots. I wouldn’t trust them to spit on the pavement.

There is some hope, though, that when millennials start paying taxes they flip their voting to free enterprise policies.

The Charlotte Observer explains:

There is some evidence that this generation’s views on activist government will stick. However, there is more reason to expect that support for their Scandinavian version of socialism may wither as they age, make more money and pay more in taxes.

The expanded social welfare state Sanders thinks the United States should adopt requires everyday people to pay considerably more in taxes. Yet millennials become averse to social welfare spending if they foot the bill. As they reach the threshold of earning $40,000 to $60,000 a year, the majority of millennials come to oppose income redistribution.

Millennials wouldn’t be the first generation to flip-flop. In the 1980s, 52 percent of baby boomers supported bigger government, and so did Generation Xers (53 percent) in the 1990s. Yet, both baby boomers and Gen Xers grew more skeptical of government over time and by about the same magnitude. Today, only 25 percent of boomers and 37 percent of Gen Xers continue to favor larger government.

Yeah, growing up has a way of making people into Republicans. That might be an argument for getting kids out of school and into work sooner, so that they grow up faster, and have grown-up beliefs about economics and taxation. I don’t even consider someone to be a grown-up until they’ve worked 5 years in the private sector. I’m really not sure why millennials think that their opinions are correct given that lack of life experience at grown-up tasks. Going to school and working in the public sector or not-for-profit sector are not grown-up tasks.

Black family sues school for refusing to protect their daughter from abuse by peers

Political contributions by the American Federation of Teachers union
Political contributions by the American Federation of Teachers union

I just thought the following story was astonishing. My heart really goes out to this little girl, who is just trying to work hard and make a life for herself.

This is from The State.

Excerpt:

Parents of an African-American girl at Columbia’s Hand Middle School have filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Richland School District 1, alleging school officials did little for two years while their academically advanced daughter was physically and verbally abused for “acting white.”

“Hand Middle School students called (the girl) racial slurs and physically assaulted her on numerous occasions,” says the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Columbia by Alex Young, a soldier at Fort Jackson, and his wife, Toschia Moffett, a consultant.

“Although approximately 50 percent of the students at Hand Middle School identify as African American, (the girl) was one of the few African Americans in her honors and advanced classes during the 2015-2016 and 2016-17 school years,” the lawsuit says.

“Hand Middle School students called (the girl) racial slurs like ‘Oreo,’ ‘white girl,’ ‘wannabe white girl’ … and generally maligned her for ‘acting white,’ ” the lawsuit alleges. Both boys and girls were involved in the bullying, the lawsuit says.

During those years, she also was “repeatedly pushed, shoved and tripped in hallways and other locations around Hand Middle School … (and) suffered several notable physical assaults,” the lawsuit says.

Although the parents reported the harassment to school officials, district-level officials and school board members, little was done and the bullying continued, the lawsuit says. The parents tried numerous times to meet with Richland 1 Superintendent Craig Witherspoon, but Witherspoon told people “he was avoiding them,” the lawsuit says.

I took a quick look at the web page and found out that the Superintendent is black! Not white! Yet he still refused to have any compassion on the little girl and punish the people who were intimidating her.

The most interesting thing about this story to me, is that the racism is being committed by other black students. Why would they make life harder for someone who they ought to more empathy for?

There were some more details in a local news story from WISTV:

  • On or about February 10, 2017, a group of approximately 12 students surrounded India while she was beaten with a bottle.

  • On March 17, 2017, the same male student who shoved India in November 2016 hit her in the face with a backpack. The blow from the backpack “chip[ed] two teeth and caus[ed] her nose to gush blood. The incident was caught on video and the school promised to keep [the male student] away from India.”

  • On the same day India returned, the male student who hit her in the face with the backpack followed India to the auditorium and intimidated her during theater rehearsal.

  • The lawsuit says that India developed stress, anxiety, and self-esteem issues that affected her education and caused her to miss several days of school. So much so, India began eating her lunch over a toilet in a bathroom stall to avoid other children.

I’m sure that I don’t have to tell you that this school system is a PUBLIC school system. This is a government-run school with unionized teachers and unionized administrators. The parents of the little girl were stuck with this failing school. The money they might have used to pay for a better school, or for homeschooling, was ripped away from the parents in the form of mandatory taxation. They were forced to pay for failure, because the Democrat Party doesn’t believe that parents should have the right to choose where their children go to school. And believe me, this kind of failure by the public schools affects a lot of minority children.

We need to have a policy that allows parents to opt out of paying taxes for failing schools, and then get a refund that they can use to buy the education they want for their children. Public schools teachers and administrators are not the “customers” of the education system – they are the service providers. Children are the customers, and they ought to be able to go where the teachers and administrators serve them.

Why don’t young Americans understand the effects of socialist policies?

Supermarket shelves empty thanks to socialist policies
Supermarket shelves empty thanks to socialist policies

Here is an interesting article by Kathryn Blackhurst, writing for LifeZette.com. The article reports on how the mainstream media has covered the situation in Venezuela, which has been under socialist rule for decades.

Kathryn explains:

Out of approximately 50,000 total evening news stories on ABC, CBS and NBC combined in the last four years, just 25 have covered the ongoing crisis in socialist Venezuela, according to a Media Research Center study published Tuesday.

After Venezuela’s former socialist president, Hugo Chávez, passed away in March 2013, the country has spiraled into economic disaster and civil chaos. So far in 2017, more than 50 Venezuelans have been killed during protests against current Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and his socialist policies. Many Venezuelans are starving due to shortages of food and other essentials. The country’s inflation rate is set to surpass 700 percent and 25 percent of Venezuelans will be unemployed.

“Yet the Big Three evening newscasts have tried to pretend this crisis does not exist, offering virtually no coverage as the situation has deteriorated over the past four years,” MRC Research Analyst Mike Ciandella wrote.

“The networks have also been reluctant to attach the ‘socialist’ label to Venezuela’s government, and have utterly failed to criticize liberal politicians and celebrities who have praised the Chávez and Maduro regimes,” Ciandella added.

Indeed, out of the 50,000 total evening news stories on the three networks, just 25 covered Venezuela, and only seven mentioned “socialism.” In addition, NBC Nightly News only broadcast 13 stories spanning 16 minutes and 54 seconds, ABC’s World News only covered 8 minutes and 34 seconds over seven stories, and CBS Evening News only offered 3 minutes and 11 seconds over five stories.

“The network evening news programs seem allergic to reporting on the ongoing crisis in Venezuela,” Ciandella told LifeZette in an email. “Even worse, the few times they have managed to cover the widespread poverty, starvation and government oppression in that country, they somehow find ways to do that without mentioning the word ‘socialism.’”

That’s why your children can go through public schools and consume mainstream media news without ever understanding what effects follow from left-wing socialist economic policies. There just isn’t anyone intelligent and honest enough in the mainstream media to give the historical context that explains what policies were tried in the past, which resulted in the effects in the present.

Over 100,000 Venezuelans pouring into Colombia from the Venezuela in order to buy food
Over 100,000 Venezuelans pouring into Colombia from the Venezuela in order to buy food

Economist Stephen Moore has more about the situation in Venezuela, in this Investors Business Daily article.

He writes:

Venezuela is a human rights crisis of epic proportions ‎with mass hunger, mass poverty, despair, ghetto upon ghetto, and a mass exodus of private businesses and anyone with money. There are no rich and no evil corporations to loot anymore. The inflation rate is almost 500% as the currency is now about as valuable as Monopoly money.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Venezuela now employs 100,000 security forces — not to repel foreign threats or invaders, but to keep the government leaders like corrupt president Nicolas Maduro safe from their own citizens. Adjusted for population size, this would be the equivalent of one million Americans employed every day to stop riots in the streets. More than 40 protesters have been shot so far this year by the guardsmen.

The average pay has fallen to less than $50 — not per day, or per week, but per month. How’s that for a minimum wage?  ‎The people eat dogs if they can find them and the world was shocked by the story earlier this year of the raid on the municipal zoo to eat the animals. How bad off does a population have to be to start carving up elephant meat?

The burgeoning resistance throws molotov cocktails, rocks and even human feces at the security forces during the nonstop rioting. It’s like a scene out of an HBO movie. “I don’t fear death because this life is crap,” one protester told the WSJ.

[…]What is stunning about this story is that this is a nation that was once one of the wealthiest places in South America. Unlike places such as Subsaharan Africa where extreme poverty is the norm,  there is no excuse for Venezuala’s steep fall into the abyss because this is a resource-rich nation.

Under thug Hugo Chavez the former socialist dictator, Venezuela began its relentless conquest of private wealth and it’s process of nationalizing private enterprises. Chavez was lionized by the American left and the Hollywood elite — Sean Penn and Chavez were BFFs — for his “progressive” policies.

There’s literally no difference between the views of Chavez and Maduro and mainstream Democrat economic policy in the United States. They’re just further along the road to serfdom than we are, because their population is less economically literate than we are. For now.

I’d be willing to bet that many of these starving protestors in Venezuela voted over and over again for the socialists. That’s what happens when people vote with their feelings instead of knowledge of basic economics. But where would ignorant Venezuelans have picked up a knowledge of basic economics? Come to think of it… where would ignorant American millenials, who hold entire conversations in memes, pick up a knowledge of basic economics? They certainly wouldn’t get it from public schools teachers or the mainstream media “journalists”.