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65% Solution Is No Solution, Report Says

Susan Notes: Bracey concludes that the "65% Solution" is a one-size-fits-all pseudo-reform that disguises a political agenda. Let's hope this research helps educators realize that politics surrounds and engulfs all education policy.

Contact: Gerald W. Bracey (703) 317-1716 (email) gbracey1@verizon.net or
Alex Molnar (480) 965-1886 (email) epsl@asu.edu

Tempe, Ariz. (Monday, April 10, 2006)-The "65% Solution," a proposal to
require that schools spend 65 percent of their budgets on in-class
instruction, has no solid evidence to support its promise of increased
student achievement, according to "A Policy Makers Guide to 'The 65%
Solution' Proposals," a report released by the Education Policy Studies
Laboratory at Arizona State University.

Report author Gerald Bracey found that school districts currently spending
65 percent or more of their budget on "in-class instruction" do not have
higher achievement levels than districts that spend less. The "65%
Solution" also has serious definitional problems, according to Bracey. For
example, administrators, library/media services, guidance counselors,
testing, and professional development for teachers would not be considered
"in the classroom," but football uniforms would be.

Bracey concludes that the "65% Solution" is a one-size-fits-all
pseudo-reform that disguises a political agenda. It would make it harder
for schools to adopt diverse strategies to increase achievement. Further,
Bracey argues that "its reallocation formula assumes that current funding
for schools is sufficient, an assumption contradicted by numerous successful
'adequacy' suits." He recommends that:

1. Schools and school districts decide what outcomes they would
consider improved performance, examine the research literature to determine
what practices have been empirically linked to changes in those outcomes,
and reallocate funds to attain the improvements; and

2. Schools allocate new funds or reallocate existing funds at the
school level, with district oversight.

— Gerald Bracey
A Policy Makers Guide to 'The 65%A Policy Makers Guide to 'The 65%



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