New Report: Why most international comparisons of spending & outcomes are total BS!

June 8, 2016


New Report: Here’s the summary: In this paper, we begin by classifying the arguments that assert American schools are relatively inefficient into two categories: the long-term trend argument and the international comparison argument. Our focus herein is on the latter of these two. We then describe two frameworks for approaching either of these arguments: […]

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Searching for Costello in New Jersey: Time for a new school funding challenge in the Post-Abbott era?

April 1, 2016


It’s been a while since I’ve taken the time to write about New Jersey school finance. It has apparently been too long. I’ve written much about New York school finance and Kansas school finance. And the parallels are straightforward. In Kansas, around 2006, the state’s high court issued an order in the case of Montoy […]

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Strolling through the PARCC (data)

February 22, 2016


THIS IS A FIRST CUT AT MY MUSINGS ON THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PARCC AND NJASK SCORES ACROSS NEW JERSEY SCHOOLS. MORE REFINED BRIEF FORTHCOMING. BUT I WANTED TO GET SOMETHING OUT THERE ASAP. A little background During the spring of 2015, New Jersey schools implemented their first round of new assessments from the Partnership for […]

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Exploring Cross-State Variations in Resources, Outcomes and Gaps

December 30, 2015

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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 will […]

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

December 28, 2015


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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