1. Spending more money improves education.
The U.S. spent $12,608 per student in 2010—more than double the figure, in inflation-adjusted dollars, spent in 1970—and spending on public elementary and secondary schools has surpassed $600 billion. How’s that working out? Adjusted state SAT scores have declined on average 3% since the 1970s, as the Cato Institute’s Andrew Coulson found in a March report.
No better news in the international rankings: The Program for International Student Assessment reports that in 2012 American 15-year-olds placed in the middle of the pack, alongside peers from Slovakia—which shells out half as much money as the U.S. per student.
Someone might mention this to North Carolina Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan, who is knocking State House Speaker Thom Tillis for cutting $500 million from schools. Per-pupil K-12 spending has increased every year since Mr. Tillis became speaker in 2011, and most of what Ms. Hagan is selling as “cuts” came from community colleges and universities, not the local middle school. Mr. Coulson’s Cato study notes that North Carolina has about doubled per-pupil education spending since 1972, which has done precisely nothing for the state’s adjusted SAT scores.
In case you were wondering, the rest of the top 10 liberal superstitions are:
2. Government spending stimulates the economy.
3. Republican candidates always have a big spending advantage over Democrats.
4. Raising the minimum wage helps the poor.
5. Global warming is causing increasingly violent weather.
6. Genetically modified food is dangerous.
7. Voter ID laws suppress minority turnout.
8. ObamaCare is gaining popularity.
9. The Keystone XL pipeline would increase oil spills.
10. Women are paid 77 cents on the dollar compared with men.