Monday, January 9, 2012

Education:  Does Money Matter in Education?

Bruce Baker, a professor in the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers University in New Jersey, reviewed research on the subject. In this report released Friday by the nonprofit Albert Shankar Institute in Washington, concluded that money matters in improving the quality of schools in several important ways.

Of course, money by itself is not the answer (there is no single answer to improving schools). And it's not just how much money is spent but how it is spent. But the argument that money doesn't matter and that across-the-board budget cuts won't hurt student outcomes are not based in any evidence, Baker found.

Baker looked at evidence through the prism of these questions:

*Are differences in aggregate school funding associated with differences in short- and long-term measured outcomes?

*Are differences in access to specific schooling programs or resources — such as smaller classes, high salaries and instructional materials --associated with differences in measured outcomes?

*Do substantive and sustained reforms to state school finance systems, including raising the level of funding or redistributing money more equitably, lead to improvements in the level or distribution of student outcomes?

The answer to each is yes, he said.

For more, see Report: Does Money Matter in Education? by Valerie Strauss, January 6, 2012 at The Answer Sheet.

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