Saturday, January 27, 2007

More Money = Better Education?

The author of the Blue Bexley blog has just posted an interesting analysis of the relationship between school funding and student performance. He writes that he was surprised by the outcome, and the results are leading him to suspect that more money doesn't make for better schools. In fact, his analysis suggests that the opposite may be true. What his analysis does suggest however is that the more a school system is funded by local sources, the better the performance of the school system.

I suspect that it is true that any school system needs a certain amount of money to deliver a quality education, and that for the first increments past that minimum, more money makes a difference. But then you hit a point where more money doesn't make a difference because the performance of the school is limited by the effectiveness of the leadership and most importantly, the degree to which parents are involved with their kids.

You can't get more inspired leadership from the superintendent by giving him/her a big raise. You can't overcome the effects of a poor teacher by buying better books or constructing nicer buildings.

And no amount of money is a substitute for parental involvement.

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