Somewhere the model got broken, and no one in government seems to know how to fix it. I found a graphic years ago that suggested that student test scores go up with educational spending to about $7500/student/year then the test scores level off as the spending increases. I suspect that this is a result of the extra money being spent on administrators rather than on anything that would impart knowledge.
Well here we are, several years downstream, and Cato institute has spending v learning broken out by individual state. Imagine how surprised I am to see pretty much the same result pop up across the board. Here's Colorado for example:
I also suspect this is a result of a non-competitive educational system. If each child was a walking coupon good for $X,000 per school year to whatever school he or she went to, you'd see schools touting their results to parents in an effort to bring in the students and thus having to have actual results to tout. Given a choice between hiring a diversity administrator and buying tools for the science classes, I'm thinking we would soon see the last of the diversity wonks.