Posts tagged ‘NAEP’

Education Spending Myth

Jay Greene of the Manhattan Institute: (via Maggies Farm)

is the most widely held myth about education in America--and the one
most directly at odds with the available evidence. Few people are aware
that our education spending per pupil has been growing steadily for 50
years. At the end of World War II, public schools in the United States
spent a total of $1,214 per student in inflation-adjusted 2002 dollars.
By the middle of the 1950s that figure had roughly doubled to $2,345.
By 1972 it had almost doubled again, reaching $4,479. And since then,
it has doubled a third time, climbing to $8,745 in 2002.

the early 1970s, when the federal government launched a standardized
exam called the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), it
has been possible to measure student outcomes in a reliable, objective
way. Over that period, inflation-adjusted spending per pupil doubled.
So if more money produces better results in schools, we would expect to
see significant improvements in test scores during this period. That
didn't happen. For twelfth-grade students, who represent the end
product of the education system, NAEP scores in math, science, and
reading have all remained flat over the past 30 years. And the high
school graduation rate hasn't budged. Increased spending did not yield more learning.

There is a lot more good stuff in the article, from class size to teacher pay.  I would observe that he misses one component of teacher pay -- that they tend to have higher than average benefit packages, which makes their jobs even more competitive with other professionals.  I covered much of the same ground 18 months ago in my Teacher Salary Myth post (which still earns me some good hate mail).

Fisking the NEA's Improvement Ideas

In my previous post, I took a look at the absurdity of the metrics in the NEA's recent schools report.  In that post, I ran out of room to Fisk the NEA's suggested areas of improvement for better school performance (keep scrolling).

Here are their improvement areas with my comments.  I always try to differentiate the NEA as a group from teachers individually.  The rants in this post are aimed at the NEA as a group.  Many teachers as individuals have my fondest regards.  Note I have helpfully put a big green dollar sign by every recommendation that boils down to "spend more money":

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