(by hyperlink to the “prior research” phrase) on the failure of input-based schooling policies , 124 choosing to ignore entirely the considerably larger body of more rigorous work I summarize in my 2012 review on the topic. The extension of these claims that nearly everyone agrees there’s no clear relationship between spending and student performance is the assertion that there is broad agreement that how money is spent matters far more than how much money is available. As phrased by Hanushek in the context of New York state school finance litigation: “Virtually all analysts now realize that how money is spent is much more important than how much is spent.” 125 As with the prior declarations, this one is made with the exceedingly bold assertion that virtually all analysts agree on this point—without reference to any empirical evidence to that point (a seemingly gaping omission for a decid- edly empirical claim about a supposedly empirical truth). Further, “how money is spent” is constrained by whether sufficient money is there to begin with. While common sense dictates that how money is spent clearly matters, thus making this part of the statement widely agreeable, this does not preclude the relevance of how much money is available to spend. Perhaps most disconcerting is that Hanushek has recent- ly extended this argument to declare that equity gaps in funding, or measures of them, aren’t an important policy concern either. Specifically, Hanushek proclaims: “It also underscores how calculations of equity gaps in spending, of costs needed to achieve equity, or of costs needed to obtain some level of student performance are vacuous, lacking any scientific basis” (p. 4). 126 Put differently, what Hanushek is opining by declaring cal- culations of equity gaps to be vacuous and lacking scientif- ic basis is that it matters not whether one school or district has more resources than another. Regardless of any spend- ing differences, schools and districts can provide equitable education—toward equitable outcome goals. Those with substantively fewer resources simply need to be more effi- cient. Since all public schools and districts are presently so inefficient, achieving these efficiency gains through more creative personnel policies, such as performance-based pay and dismissal of “bad teachers,” is easily attainable. Of course, even if we assume that creative personnel poli- cies yield marginal improvements to efficiency, if schools with varied levels of resources pursued these strategies
PAGE 17 Does Money Matter in Education ? with comparable efficiency gains, inequities would remain constant. Requiring those with less to simply be more effi- cient with what they have is an inequitable requirement.
You've reached the end of your free preview.
Want to read all 48 pages?
- Fall '13
- Microeconomics, James Coleman, Eric Hanushek