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

December 28, 2015

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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 other […]

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Pondering Chartering: On Market Forces & Innovation?

December 18, 2015

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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, there […]

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

December 16, 2015

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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 outcomes […]

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

December 15, 2015

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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 public […]

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

December 14, 2015

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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 lower […]

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Picture Post Week: Subprime Chartering

December 10, 2015

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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 originally […]

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

December 9, 2015

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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 Changes […]

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