Exploring Cross-State Variations in Resources, Outcomes and Gaps

For the past several years now, the Education Law Center of New Jersey and I have been producing a roughly annual report on the state of school finance systems. As that report has evolved, we have taken advantage of publicly available data to construct more and more indicators. Over the next several months, we willContinue reading “Exploring Cross-State Variations in Resources, Outcomes and Gaps”

School Finance Reality vs. the Money Doesn’t Matter Echo Chamber

An eclectic mix of politicians, philanthropists, conservative (and not-so-conservative) think tanks and a select few scholars have, for decades, created an echo chamber for the claim that more money will not help improve America’s schools. The claim is most often backed by two facile evidentiary bases: First, that the U.S. spends far more than otherContinue reading “School Finance Reality vs. the Money Doesn’t Matter Echo Chamber”

Pondering Chartering: On Market Forces & Innovation?

One of the original premises of chartering as a competitive market tool was that introducing independently governed competitors and relaxing regulations on those competitors would induce innovation, which could then be shared for the good of the whole. This premise is flawed on many levels. First, if innovation is to be induced by competition, thereContinue reading “Pondering Chartering: On Market Forces & Innovation?”

At the Intersection of Money & Reform Part III: On Cost Functions & the Increased Costs of Higher Outcomes

In my 2012 report Does Money Matter in Education, I addressed the education production function literature that seeks to establish a direct link between resources spent on schools and districts, and outcomes achieved by students. Production function studies include studies of how variation in resources across schools and settings is associated with variations in outcomesContinue reading “At the Intersection of Money & Reform Part III: On Cost Functions & the Increased Costs of Higher Outcomes”

Pondering Chartering: Getting the incentives right for the good of the whole!

I had a fun chat with EduShyster the other day about my recent report on charter school business practices. It was during the course of that conversation that I articulated some of my major concerns about how we are currently approaching “chartering” as public policy, and, for that matter, academic researchers of chartering as publicContinue reading “Pondering Chartering: Getting the incentives right for the good of the whole!”

Pondering Chartering: What do we know about administrative and instructional spending?

In a recent report, Gary Miron and I discuss some of the differences in resource allocation practices between Charter operators and district schools.  Among other things, we discuss the apparently high administrative expenses of charter operators. But in that same report, we explain that some of these higher administrative expenses, and, as a result lowerContinue reading “Pondering Chartering: What do we know about administrative and instructional spending?”

Picture Post Week: Subprime Chartering

A short while back, I explained how, in our fervor to rapidly expand charter schooling and decrease the role of large urban school districts in serving their resident school-aged populations, we’ve created some particularly ludicrous scenarios whereby, for example – charter school operators use public tax dollars to buy land and facilities that were originallyContinue reading “Picture Post Week: Subprime Chartering”

Picture Post Week: Increased Standards & Student Needs, But Shrinking Resources!

As I explain in a post a while back: In short, the “cost” of education rises as a function of at least 3 major factors: Changes in the incoming student populations over time Changes in the desired outcomes for those students, including more rigorous core content area goals or increased breadth of outcome goals ChangesContinue reading “Picture Post Week: Increased Standards & Student Needs, But Shrinking Resources!”

Picture Post Week: Who’s granting all of those education degrees?

This post is an update to a series of earlier posts in which I summarized the production of education degrees over time. As policymakers continue their critiques of the supposed decline in the quality of teacher preparation, as if teacher and leader preparation has been static since the 1950s, it’s worth again looking at trendsContinue reading “Picture Post Week: Who’s granting all of those education degrees?”

Picture Post Week: Follow up on who’s running America’s charter schools

This post is a follow up on my previous post where I discussed which charter school operators are actually leading the nation in charter school enrollments. Here are a some slides breaking out the charter school enrollments by operator/manager for a handful of states.  These slides are made possible by my meticulous graduate student MarkContinue reading “Picture Post Week: Follow up on who’s running America’s charter schools”