Title I Does NOT make “Rich” states “Richer!”

This is one fly I keep forgetting to swat, but one that has been repeatedly advanced by the Center for American Progress with excessively crude analyses. See: http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2009/08/title1_map.html WOW! Just look at it. Those darn rich states like Connecticut, New York and New Jersey are running away with federal funding that should be targeted toContinue reading “Title I Does NOT make “Rich” states “Richer!””

Checking the Tab

As follow up to yesterday’s post on the completely fabricated and back-of-the-napkin numbers presented in The Tab,  here’s a quick simulated allocation of the $11,000 foundation + $3,000 poverty weight (applied to free or reduced lunch) + $400 per ELL/LEP child. The Tab pretty much conceals any real changes or patterns of changes by lumpingContinue reading “Checking the Tab”

Why is it OK for Think Tanks to just make stuff up?

Something that has perplexed me for some time in my field of school finance, is why it seems to be okay for policy advocates and “Think Tanks” to just make stuff up. For example, to just make up what level of funding would be appropriate for accomplishing any particular set of goals? or to justContinue reading “Why is it OK for Think Tanks to just make stuff up?”

Playing with Charter Numbers in NJ

About a week ago, I commented that charter school average performance was not much, if any different from the average performance of the poorest urban public schools. This is admittedly an oversimplified comparison, but not one I would have made had I believed it to be deceptive, which it is not – given the availableContinue reading “Playing with Charter Numbers in NJ”

Illinois Salary Gaps – Do they matter?

I picked up this article on Twitter yesterday, which seemed at first to make a veiled version of the classic “money doesn’t matter” argument, or at least that’s how the tweets and headlines were spun. The article is somewhat more thoughtful, discussing many reasons why teacher salaries vary and how those variations are largely tiedContinue reading “Illinois Salary Gaps – Do they matter?”

Leaders and Laggards Lags!

A quick note on Center for American Progress Leaders and Laggards report. On pages 23 & 24, this report attempts to grade state school funding systems and their level of “innovation.” But, the report pays no attention to a) whether these states actually perform well on any measures of outcomes,  b) whether these states actuallyContinue reading “Leaders and Laggards Lags!”

What do NJ Charter Schools Really Spend?

Getting back to the original point of my blog, this post is simply about introducing to the public discourse some actual data on NJ charter school spending. Back when I wrote my textbook on school finance, I found that DC charter schools were having to rely on private contributions to the tune of 14% ofContinue reading “What do NJ Charter Schools Really Spend?”

The Real NJ Graduation Scam?

Bob Bowdon, of Cartel fame and E-3 make the claim that New Jersey’s poor urban districts are scamming the public and taxpayers by having overstated graduation rates. About half of poor district kids pass the HSPA test, but 85% graduate. Their brilliant solution to this problem, as I’ve noted previously, is to give kids theContinue reading “The Real NJ Graduation Scam?”

Teacher Evaluation with Value Added Measures

This month, the special issue of the journal Education Finance and Policy on value-added measurement of student outcomes was published. The table of contents is here: http://www.mitpressjournals.org/toc/edfp/4/4 This is good stuff, authored by leading educational measurement and statistics researchers and economists. These articles provide some important cautionary tales regarding the application of value-added measures ofContinue reading “Teacher Evaluation with Value Added Measures”

Hawaii’s Funding Mess: My thoughts on why

It is indeed sad to see the state of public schooling in Hawaii. Teachers are furloughed and students are losing valuable classroom time. The state has chosen to use ARRA stimulus funds to fill budget gaps – which has been done by many states – but Hawaii has chosen to cut more than fill. Arguably,Continue reading “Hawaii’s Funding Mess: My thoughts on why”