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NCLB Outrages

Racing Where? (the DFER list)

Ohanian Comment: The hysterical hype for Race to the Top offered up by Democrats for Education Reform gets a needed reality check by Bruce Baker's short analysis. Here's a description (from his website) of what Professor Baker does when he's not writing on his blog:

Professor Baker has written a multitude of peer reviewed research articles on state school finance policy, teacher labor markets, school leadership labor markets and higher education finance and policy. His recent work has focused on measuring cost variations associated with schooling contexts and student population characteristics, including ways to better design state school finance policies and local district allocation formulas (including Weighted Student Funding) for better meeting the needs of students.

And don't miss Why do states with the âbestâ data systems have the worst schools?

by Bruce D. Baker

A few quick comments on the Democrats for Ed Reform list of states in line for RttT funds.

  • The list includes two of the only states that year after year maintain a pattern of higher poverty school districts receiving systematically fewer resources than lower poverty school districts â New York and Illinois. Colorado is also on the systematically regressive funding list â but is not a year after year standout like the other two.

  • The list includes the two states which allocate the smallest share of their gross state product to public education â Louisiana and Delaware. To add insult to injury, based on American Community Survey Data from 2007, neither Delaware nor Louisiana even serves 80% of its 6 to 16 year olds in the public school system (a âcoverageâ metric).

  • The list includes the state with the absolute lowest cost and need adjusted per pupil state and local revenue among all states â Tennessee.

  • The DFER post notes that Illinois' chances aren't lookin' as good as earlier this year. But, TN, DE, CO and LA sound like strong contenders! (?)

    Details on methods and analysis behind these findings available on request in the near future. Cheers!

    — Bruce D. Baker
    School Finance 101 blog


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