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John Merrifield
(@jmerrifield)
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Megan Malisani
(@megan-malisani)
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02/04/2017 8:15 pm  

 Another Money Doesn't Matter Story highlights an interesting point.  Improving school systems is not an issue we can simply throw money at and expect improvements.  A related article that analyzes PISA data finds that performance rises only until about $20,000 GDP per capita.  After this, GDP per capita has little effect.  

https://www.oecd.org/pisa/pisaproducts/pisainfocus/49685503.pdf

 


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John Merrifield
(@jmerrifield)
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04/04/2017 4:09 pm  

Megan,

Welcome!  You're describing income effects, right; how much income affects schooling outcomes, overall?

I've found, for the U.S. System that aggregate performance is not greatly affected by much of anything; that it takes very large changes in the explanatory variables to yield tiny effects in academic outcomes, or no effect.

https://object.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/serials/files/cato-journal/2009/5/cj29n2-6.pdf  


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Megan Malisani
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08/04/2017 6:31 pm  

That's not quite what I was referring to.  Though GDP per capita isn't a direct measure of spending on schooling, these items tend to increase together, so I am viewing it as a proxy measure that highlights a general trend.  My thought is that the early performance increases shown in the analysis make sense.  Access to basic learning tools like books, desks, teachers etc. should be expected to improve scores.  Beyond that our extra money spent on schooling isn't having much affect on scores.  This isn't to say spending those extra dollars differently couldn't yield improvements, but that, according to the data, how we are currently allocating those dollars isn't doing us much good.

This gets a bit into the  https://object. cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/serials/files/cato-journal/2009/5/cj29n2-6.pdf  article you just shared.  With the best of intentions, we keep blindly funding efforts that we believe should help students improve, even when results suggest it's not making much of a difference.  We must find what is actually affecting student performance, and focus our efforts on that.

 


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Megan Malisani
(@megan-malisani)
New Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 3
08/04/2017 6:31 pm  

That's not quite what I was referring to.  Though GDP per capita isn't a direct measure of spending on schooling, these items tend to increase together, so I am viewing it as a proxy measure that highlights a general trend.  My thought is that the early performance increases shown in the analysis make sense.  Access to basic learning tools like books, desks, teachers etc. should be expected to improve scores.  Beyond that our extra money spent on schooling isn't having much affect on scores.  This isn't to say spending those extra dollars differently couldn't yield improvements, but that, according to the data, how we are currently allocating those dollars isn't doing us much good.

This gets a bit into the  https://object. cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/serials/files/cato-journal/2009/5/cj29n2-6.pdf  article you just shared.  With the best of intentions, we keep blindly funding efforts that we believe should help students improve, even when results suggest it's not making much of a difference.  We must find what is actually affecting student performance, and focus our efforts on that.

 


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John Merrifield
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Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 34
16/04/2017 7:15 pm  

Okay, we've got this conversation going.  I don't want to dominate the comment/reply.  My views are well-represented in the forum essays.

Comment on the Forum topic with or without reading the forum essays.  If you have a long comment, consider writing an essay I will consider adding to the forum essay list.

The aim here is to foster continuous conversation on critical subject areas.  The aim of this blog forum is get away from blog sites that highlight individual blogs as they are written.  Relevance of any given blog post, or combination organized into a forum topic, can exist suddenly, or continuously long after first posted.


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AaronSmith
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22/04/2017 10:57 pm  

It's not that more money can't improve outcomes, it's that it simply won't.  Public education is extremely inefficient (e.g. step-ladder salary schedules, administrative bloat, LIFO policies, etc.) and upping the ante on funding just results in a more expensive status quo.

If you compare NAEP scores and cost-adjusted spending across states, the results are all over the place. New York ranks highest in adjusted spending, yet its 8th grade reading scores are just 33rd overall. FRL kids from low-spending states such as Florida and Kentucky outperform FRL kids from high-spending states such as New Jersey and Connecticut. Not to mention PISA comparisons where U.S. results are worse than Estonia's despite spending about twice as much. 

Of course, it is true that some schools are underfunded in comparison to their peers, but this is an allocation problem that plagues every level of funding (federal, state, and district) and fixing this doesn't require new injections of funding, but the politics makes it difficult to say the least. 

Unfortunately, much of the problem is systemic and teachers, school administrators, etc. must pay the price for incompetency in the form of compressed salaries, lack of resources, etc. There's plenty of money in the system, just not where it needs to be. So from their vantage point, public education is woefully underfunded when this obviously isn't the case. 

 


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John Merrifield
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31/05/2017 1:25 am  

Aaron, I appreciate your thoughtful post.  It will take a while for this conversation forum to catch on.  Be patient for replies, and then comment back.  Try to find and sharply define the bases of agreement and disagreement.  When we can sharply focus on how we achieve agreement, and the grounds for disagreement - such as heroic assumptions or misleading information - we can make progress.  Whenever possible, with the latter, specify how research could settle an issue.  That's what we do at conferences, but annual feedback is way too slow.  We need to communicate more often and progress faster than we do via conferences and blogs.


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