Another Money Doesn’t Matter Story: Sadly, this one Includes Charter Schools || John Merrifield || January 27, 2015
This is just a quick take on a significant study; mostly to bring it to your attention. The report compared the rate of return on Traditional Public School (TPS) and Chartered Public School (CPS) spending. The study compared the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) scores of TPS and CPS per dollar spent on each, controlling for socioeconomic characteristics. The bottom line is that the CPS rate of return is higher. But it seems to reveal, or confirm, a sad truth. In about half of the states in the sample (p 16), CPS produced more achievement with less money per child, but not much more achievement. In the other half, TPS and CPS achieved comparable schooling outcomes, but the CPS achieved them for much less money per student. So, my preliminary assessment is that this significant study adds to an already extensive ‘money-doesn’t-matter’ literature; that our K-12 school system does not typically achieve noteworthy academic achievement gains from increased per pupil spending. And now, sadly, probably for reasons I specified, the same thing appears to be generally true for school systems that include CPS.
After we’ve had a chance to read it in full, more closely, we can hopefully have a dialog on the main upshots of the study, and on what the states that achieved the most per dollar spent have in common; also some discussion of why the best-performing charter states were still not very good.