Friday, June 30, 2006

Double-but-Nothing: More Education Spending Hasn't Yielded Better Results

The following partial piece below was posted on the Mackinac Center for Public Policy website. You will have to click the link at the end of the post to view the rest of the article.

Double-but-Nothing: More Education Spending Hasn't Yielded Better Results

Mr. Ryan S. Olson

Posted: Jun. 5, 2006

A proposal likely to appear on the November ballot would change Michigan law to mandate annual inflationary education expenditures. But the results of government education spending over the last several decades have shown little that would lead us to think simply spending more would improve schools. In large part, this is because schools generally operate without significant institutional incentives for producing improved results.

Source: Digest of Education Statistics 2004, National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education

Consider this: In what service sector have inputs more than doubled over three decades, while outputs have remained stagnant? If you answered, "Public education," go to the head of the class.
In both Michigan and the nation at large, the amount spent per student in public education has more than doubled since 1970, even after inflation is factored out. Compare that doubling of expenditure to students’ performance on the federally administered National Assessment of Educational Progress. The most recent average reading and mathematics scores on that test are virtually identical to the scores in the early 1970s.
Our educational institutions usually do not create incentives for instructional improvement by rewarding effective teachers and sanctioning ineffective ones.

To view the rest of the article go to Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

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