Schoolhouses, Courthouses, and Statehouses: Solving the Funding-Achievement Puzzle in America's Public Schools

Schoolhouses, Courthouses, and Statehouses: Solving the Funding-Achievement Puzzle in America's Public Schools

by Eric A. Hanushek, Alfred A. Lindseth
     
 

ISBN-10: 0691130000

ISBN-13: 9780691130002

Pub. Date: 04/27/2009

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Spurred by court rulings requiring states to increase public-school funding, the United States now spends more per student on K-12 education than almost any other country. Yet American students still achieve less than their foreign counterparts, their performance has been flat for decades, millions of them are failing, and poor and minority students remain far

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Overview

Spurred by court rulings requiring states to increase public-school funding, the United States now spends more per student on K-12 education than almost any other country. Yet American students still achieve less than their foreign counterparts, their performance has been flat for decades, millions of them are failing, and poor and minority students remain far behind their more advantaged peers. In this book, Eric Hanushek and Alfred Lindseth trace the history of reform efforts and conclude that the principal focus of both courts and legislatures on ever-increasing funding has done little to improve student achievement. Instead, Hanushek and Lindseth propose a new approach: a performance-based system that directly links funding to success in raising student achievement. This system would empower and motivate educators to make better, more cost-effective decisions about how to run their schools, ultimately leading to improved student performance. Hanushek and Lindseth have been important participants in the school funding debate for three decades. Here, they draw on their experience, as well as the best available research and data, to show why improving schools will require overhauling the way financing, incentives, and accountability work in public education.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691130002
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
04/27/2009
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
432
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.40(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix

List of Tables xiii

Preface xv

Introduction 1

Chapter 1: Just How Important Is Education? 10

Education and Financial Achievement 11

Education and Poverty 15

Education and the Nation's Economic Well-Being 16

Testing Student Skills 20

Quality of U.S. Colleges 21

Chapter 2: U.S. Education at a Crossroads 23

Years of School Completed 23

Achievement Levels (or the Mastery of Cognitive Skills) 29

International Comparisons 36

Achievement Gaps 38

Chapter 3: The Political Responses 44

Increased Spending and Resources for K-12 Education 45

Increased Equity in Funding for K-12 Education 57

The Standards and Accountability Movement 71

Increased School Choice Options 76

Teacher Certification 80

Conclusions 82

Chapter 4: Court Interventions in School Finance 83

Federal Desegregation Litigation and
Milliken II Remedies 84

"Equity" Cases 88

"Adequacy" Cases 95

Chapter 5: Practical Issues with Educational Adequacy 118

Defining an "Adequate" Education 118

The Element of Causation 129

Problems Relating to Remedy 136

Problems Inherent in the Makeup and
Processes of the Courts 139

Chapter 6: The Effectiveness of Judicial Remedies 145

Kentucky 147

Wyoming 151

New Jersey 157

Massachusetts 166

Chapter 7: Science and School Finance Decision Making 171

A Simple Decision Model 172

How Much Is Enough? 173

How Should the Money Be Spent? 200

Using Science More Effectively 211

Chapter 8: A Performance-Based Funding System 217

Guiding Principles: Back to Basics 218

A Performance-Based Funding System 219

Big City Schools 258

Conclusions 260

Chapter 9: Making Performance-Based Funding a Reality 263

The Persistence of Illusory Spending Solutions 263

Support for the Status Quo and Resistance to Change 268

Some Current Countervailing Forces 275

Encouraging True Reform: Mutually Agreed Bargains 279

Changing the Focus of the Courts 281

Mobilizing for the Future 287

Notes 291

Legal Citations 353

Federal Court Cases (arranged in alphabetical order) 353

State Court Cases (arranged by state and, within states, chronologically) 354

Sources for Figures and Tables 361

References 363

Index 395

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