Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Can We Stop Equating More Cash With More Achievement?

“Despite the worst fiscal situation since the Great Depression, Gov. Corzine and the Democratic Legislature made education a top priority in the state budget and invested more money into our classrooms,” said Greenwald (D-Camden). “The education investments we’re making enhance our quality of life, build stronger communities and provide for continuing economic growth, and these latest numbers clearly show a positive trend for all our children.”
Assembly Budget Chairman Louis D. Greenwald and Assemblywoman Pamela R. Lampitt's press release praising the progress made by Jon Corzine and the Legislature in closing the achievement gap.

1 comment:

Bruce said...

The fact is that the statement to which you object is, for the most part true (not to be construed as a Corzine endorsement by any stretch). It does indeed depend on your preference set for what goes into better quality of life. But, NJ's investment in schools does differentiate it from other states - on quality as well as spending (and on gaps in quality relative to similar states that don't invest in poor communities - like CT which invests in only a few).

Here's a quick rundown on research on whether school funding reforms positively affect student outcomes:

http://schoolfinance101.wordpress.com/2009/05/29/do-school-finance-reforms-make-any-difference/

Here's a quick rundown on a recent study of the positive effects of Abbott reforms:

http://schoolfinance101.wordpress.com/2009/10/12/real-info-re-nj-and-abbott-districts/

And finally, here's my take on the usual spin about "business friendly" (low tax) states and school quality:

http://schoolfinance101.wordpress.com/2008/12/17/state-rankings-small-businesses-school-quality-and-economic-productivity/

This is not to say that we should not try to figure out ways to get even better bang for our buck in NJ. You certainly know where I stand on consolidation/ reorganization issues, or that we should not try to create greater options for kids stuck in the poorest neighborhoods and schools, though charters are an inconsistent option (break even at average) at best in NJ for now.

Cheers!