Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The funding-achievement puzzle

(Guest post by OCPA intern John Scot Overbey)

In a new book entitled Schoolhouses, Courthouses, and Statehouses: Solving the Funding-Achievement Puzzle in America's Public Schools (Princeton University Press, 2009), Eric A. Hanushek and Alfred A. Lindseth argue that increased spending on education is not resulting in increased student achievement.

"For more than thirty years, student achievement has remained flat, even as education spending, adjusted for inflation, has almost quadrupled," they write. Even though the United States outspends almost all other developed countries on education by a wide margin, American students continue to achieve less than their international counterparts.

Since 1970, the high school completion rate has remained flat. The college attendance rate has increased, but the college completion rate has leveled off, suggesting that more and more students are entering college unprepared and end up dropping out. This level of unpreparedness is reflected by the increase in the number of remediation courses offered in colleges across the United States.

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