Twice as many teachers. Twice as much money. But does anybody believe that a high school graduate today is (as a college student might actually say) “twice as much smart?”

We know they’re not.

We test students all the time, tests like the National Assessment Of Educational Progress (NAEP). And since 1970, these results in math and reading have essentially been flat.

For example, the average 17-year-old’s NAEP score in reading back in 1971 was 285. In 2008 it was 286.

That’s what we got for doubling our education spending.

When you compare the U.S. to countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the results are even worse. Education reform activist Bill Costello points out that our annual “per-pupil spending in 2006 was 41 percent higher than the OECD average of $7,283, and yet American students still placed in the bottom quarter in math and in the bottom third in science among OECD countries.”

The problem isn’t a shortage of money, it’s a shortage of value.