Supporters of the change say it would allow schools to be more innovative with instructional time and that state report cards would hold them accountable for outcomes such as student attendance, achievement, academic improvement and graduation rates…But some worry that taking away the baseline for instructional hours could have unintended consequences, especially in districts where many students are struggling.
The great school turnaround: President Barack Obama didn’t fix failing schools even with billions of dollars, can President Donald Trump?
Many remain skeptical of any school choice plan that includes vouchers, a scholarship tax credit or making federal Title I funding portable for poor students and those with disabilities. Indeed, a slate of studies recently published on the effectiveness of voucher programs in Florida, Indiana, Louisiana and Ohio – the largest voucher programs in the country – do much to discredit their effectiveness.
America’s educators need every tool in the toolbox to turn around chronically struggling schools. Choice alone won’t do it. Local control, in and of itself, won’t do it; for the most part, we have local control and it’s one of the big reasons some low-performing schools languish for decades. More money is important, but all funds need to be spent strategically. Successful turnarounds must be accompanied by real and meaningful changes in the way we train and support teachers, the way we instruct students and the way we structure our time and use our resources.
The sheer numbers of people flocking to some of the initial courses seemed to suggest that an entirely new model of open-access, free university education was within reach…Education, like health care, is a complex and fragmented industry, which makes it hard to gain scale. Despite those drop-out rates, the MOOCs have shown it can be done quickly and comparatively cheaply.
This final week in the three part series, we grapple with the politics of school money, asking: Is there a better way to pay for our schools? The answer requires that we do two things: explore the challenges to change, and spotlight a few ideas that could lead to a more balanced system. What follows is a wrap-up of our reporting. For nearly every name and place, you’ll find a hyperlink to more.
This idea, that sprinkling more dollars over troubled schools won’t magically improve test scores or graduation rates, is a common refrain among many politicians, activists and experts. And they have research to back it up…This debate has raged for at least half a century, and today we’re going to put both sides under a microscope.
Over the next three weeks, the NPR Ed Team will unveil a vast collection of “School Money” stories told in collaboration with station reporters across the country. Our goal: To give voice to this school-funding imbalance and to explain what happens when many of America’s poorest students also attend its poorest schools. Click here to see how your school district compares to others on spending per student.
Newly released data from the National Center for Education Statistics show per pupil outlays have not recovered from the recession. Specifically, NCES data shows that 31 states are contributing less to public education than they did in 2008.