Thursday, September 12, 2013

'It matters more how the money is spent than how much is spent'

"The U.S. spends on average $12,000 per pupil in grades K-12, one of the highest amounts in the world," Paul Peterson and Eric Hanushek write today in The Wall Street Journal. "Among U. S. states, increments in spending per pupil between 1990 and 2010 show no correlation with changes in student performance."
In Wyoming and New York, spending levels per pupil climbed at one of the fastest rates without getting any extra gains in student achievement over this time period. Florida was among the most rapidly improving states, even though inflation-adjusted state expenditures per pupil hardly changed. It matters more how the money is spent than how much is spent. Expensive but ineffective policies such as class size reduction, while valued by current school personnel, have not raised achievement. Better accountability, more school choice, market-based teacher compensation and retention policies can on the other hand boost achievement without adding materially to school costs.

More spending won't help students learn more. Of course, Oklahomans (by a two-to-one margin) already know that.

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