Not really wanting to job into this fight, but aren't the SAT scores skewed? What percentage of students take the test in Mass vs TX and aren't those the kids trying to go to college? So doesn't that tell us the Mass is doing a better of preparing top students who want to go to college vs Texas? Perhaps because we water down the system in Texas.
Point by point:
1. I'll cherry pick a statistic - Graduation rates. Texas is 5th in the country, behind Iowa (91%), Jersey (90.5%), Tennessee (89.8%), Kentucky (89.7%), then Texas also with 89.7%. Yes, I realize that graduation rate alone is not an effective metric to judge education on, solely speaking. But your big teacher-union states (usually democrat controlled) do not come in until Vermont in 10th, New Hampshire in 11th, Massachusets in 13th, Connecticut in 16th, Maryland in 17, Illionis is 19th, Deleware 20, Rhode Island 31, California 36, New York 41, Washington DC 52. Personally I don't see Texas as doing so bad, especially given that we spend ~$7800 a year educating a student. Especially that the northeastern and western states spend a LOT more than that to get less results. I even further say that we're doing a damn good job given the diverse cultures we teach that those other states in 1-4 do not teach. To get those results with such a wide range of students is impressive in my opinion. https://www.edweek.org/ew/section/multimedia/data-us-graduation-rates-by-state-and.html
What metric do you propose we use? Even if you use SAT scores Texas is less than 10% behind the highest scoring state (Massachusetts, 1130, Texas 1026). Again, what metric is effective in your opinion?
2. Personally, I'm all for using the European model. Test them after 8th grade, if they want to go to college then they go to high school as a prep school. If they do not want to go to college or do not test high enough then they go to a trade school, graduate at 17 without student debt, then go into the workforce having learned a trade. I'm 100% behind it. But students should have the option. If they test low but still want to go to college they should have the option of going to college prep but must meet academic standards. If they fail to meet those standards after the first year then they go to trade school. I'd be 100% for that.
3rd. You're looking at the FEDERAL education expenditures. You know just as well as I do that at the federal level education expenditures are not going to equal defense. But you need to look at TOTAL educational expenditures: Federal, State, and Local. We will spend $1.2 TRILLION when you count all monies spent on education for FY 2020. https://www.usgovernmentspending.com/us_education_spending_20.html
Divide that by the ~55.6 million students, if it were spread equally that would equal $21,000 PER STUDENT per year. Yes, I know that it's not spread equally, yes I know that some states will spend more and some states will spend less. Again, compare that to the ~$700 billion on defense.