Virtual School Meanderings

October 12, 2018

Review: Review Describes Remarkably Weak Study Of School Cost And Productivity

Another notice on that NEPC think twice review.

October 11, 2018

Contacts

William J. Mathis: (802) 383-0058, wmathis@sover.net
Beth C. Rubin: (848) 932-0677, beth.rubin@gse.rutgers.edu
Great Lakes Center: (517) 203-2940, greatlakescenter@greatlakescenter.org

Review: Review Describes Remarkably Weak Study of School Cost and Productivity

EAST LANSING, Mich. (October 11, 2018) — A recent report from the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty claims that Wisconsin does not get a good return on its educational investment. This study has been found to have overwhelming methodological shortcomings.

William J. Mathis, Managing Director of the National Education Policy Center at the University of Colorado Boulder, reviewed Money for Nothing: The Relationship Between Various Types of School Spending and Academic Outcomes.

The original report suggests that districts employ too many non-teachers, that per-pupil spending is not linked to higher outcomes, and that teacher pay makes no difference in test scores. Dr. Mathis’ review points to critical errors in study design that fundamentally negate these conclusions. The report flounders in arguing causality from correlation and misinterpreting statistical significance as representing meaningful policy effects.

This leads to false or unsupported conclusions clouded by the omission of critical details that prevent replication or confirmation. Rife with undocumented policy claims, the results run contrary to the literature on spending, administrator effects, and teacher effects. In fact, no literature review is provided at all, and the report fails to address the efficacy of interventions such as class size and early high-quality childhood education.

The off-point theoretical base, flawed assumptions and meager findings lead Mathis to conclude that the report earned its title, “money for nothing,” which could leave unsuspecting policymakers in dire straits if they were to use these findings to guide policy.

Find the review, by William J. Mathis, at:
http://greatlakescenter.org/

Find Money for Nothing: The Relationship Between Various Types of School Spending and Academic Outcomes, written by Will Flanders and published by the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, at:
http://www.will-law.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/mfn-final.pdf

About The Great Lakes Center
The mission of the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice is to support and disseminate high quality research and reviews of research for the purpose of informing education policy and to develop research-based resources for use by those who advocate for education reform.  Visit the Great Lakes Center Web Site at: http://www.greatlakescenter.org.   Follow us on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/greatlakescent.  Find us on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/GreatLakesCenter.

– ### –

 Friend on Facebook

 Follow on Twitter

The mission of the Great Lakes Center for Education Research & Practice is to support and disseminate high quality research and reviews of research for the purpose of informing education policy and to develop research-based resources for use by those who advocate for education reform.

Visit the Great Lakes Center website at http://www.greatlakescenter.org/

October 5, 2018

Review: Fiscal And Education Spillovers From Charter School Expansion

Another notice of this NEPC review.

October 4, 2018

Contacts
William J. Mathis: (802) 383-0058, wmathis@sover.net
Clive Belfield: (917) 821-9219, Clive.Belfield@gmail.com
Great Lakes Center: (517) 203-2940, greatlakescenter@greatlakescenter.org

Review: Fiscal and Education Spillovers from Charter School Expansion

EAST LANSING, Mich. (October 4, 2018) — A recent report from the School Effectiveness and Inequality Initiative at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology examines the consequences that followed from an expansion in the number of charter school places available for enrollment.

The study uses data from Massachusetts, where charter school growth has been carefully managed and where there was significant excess demand for charter school places. In 2011, the state increased the cap on enrollments for charter schools located in school districts with low test scores, resulting in an increase in charter school enrollment in some of these districts.

Professor Clive Belfield of Queens College, City University of New York, reviewed Fiscal and Education Spillovers from Charter School Expansion and found that it provides important, high-quality evidence about the effects of expanding charter schools under a well-regulated set of conditions.

The report is part of Think Twice Review, a project of the National Education Policy Center (NEPC), funded by the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice.

Belfield’s key finding is that the report is a useful and informative study of charter school expansion. The paper presents a high-quality study by MIT which finds that charter expansion, under the unique set of conditions found in Massachusetts, is benign and slightly positive.

The paper reaches three key findings. First, due to a subsidy provided by Massachusetts law, per-pupil expenditures in the impacted public schools increased as charter schools expanded. Second, these districts appeared to respond to competitive pressures from charter schools by moving funding to inputs directly related to instruction. Third, test scores in math and English language arts in the existing public schools increased very slightly. All three of these impacts, however, disappear after six years of initial charter school expansion.

The paper affirms a two-part consensus from past studies on the economic and academic impacts of charter schooling. First, the flows of public funds to charter and public schools are complex, idiosyncratic, and variable. These features make economic evaluation of charter schooling very difficult. Second, the academic influence of competition between charter schools and public schools is small and, in this case, positive. This second finding suggests that expanding charter schools, at least under the relatively restrictive conditions that existed in Massachusetts, will have a benign effect on the overall education system. However, because of funding complexities identified in the first finding, it is extremely difficult to determine how cost-effective or equitable such expansions might be.

Find the Think Twice Review by Belfield on the web:
http://www.greatlakescenter.org

Think Twice, a project of the National Education Policy Center (NEPC), provides the public, policymakers and the press with timely, academically sound reviews of selected publications. The project is made possible by funding from the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice.

Find Fiscal and Education Spillovers from Charter School Expansion, written by Matt Ridley and Camille Terrier and published by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, at: https://seii.mit.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/SEII-Discussion-Paper-2018.02-Ridley-Terrier.pdf

You can also find the review by Clive Belfield at the NEPC website:
http://nepc.colorado.edu/thinktank/review-charter-spillover

– ### –

September 30, 2018

Worth A Read

A regular Sunday feature.

Worth A Read


Opinion: Public Schools and the Push to Privatize Everything

Posted: 22 Sep 2018 09:00 PM PDT

“There is now a well-established network of conservative think tanks across the country such as ALEC – the American Legislative Exchange Council – that supplies local right-wing legislators with boilerplate bills that they can introduce into their state houses. In addition, many national conservative organizations, such as Americans for Prosperity, send operatives to states to lobby for bills that support their agendas.”

“In response to the excesses of the privatization movement, a pro public service movement has begun. This year voters in one Colorado district tossed out all four Koch-backed members of their local school board. And Michigan is working hard to dig itself out of the dysfunctional educational landscape that Betsy DeVos helped to create there.”

September 27, 2018

Review: Systems For Success: Thinking Beyond Access To AP

Another release on that NEPC review.

September 25, 2018

Contacts
William J. Mathis: (802) 383-0058, wmathis@sover.net
Beth C. Rubin: (848) 932-0677, beth.rubin@gse.rutgers.edu
Great Lakes Center: (517) 203-2940, greatlakescenter@greatlakescenter.org

Review: Systems for Success: Thinking Beyond Access to AP

EAST LANSING, Mich. (September 25, 2018) — A recent report from the Education Trust uses a case study of two exemplary high schools to address the question of how schools might support low-income students and students of color in gaining access to and achieving success in Advanced Placement programs.

Professor Beth C. Rubin of Rutgers University reviewed Systems for Success: Thinking Beyond Access to AP, and praised the report’s descriptions of interventions providing access to and support for underrepresented students in AP. But the author also raised concerns about the report’s limited descriptions of its methodological and analytical approaches.

The report is part of Think Twice Review, a project of the National Education Policy Center (NEPC), funded by the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice.

Rubin’s key finding is that the report is useful but lacks specificity about its methodology and analysis.  The scant detail on participants and data collection methods, and lack of discussion on how the data were analyzed, weaken links between claims and evidence.

Systems for Success contends that a variety of interventions help promote student access and success in AP, including teacher support and development, analysis of class composition, careful scheduling, and provision of during- and after-school academic support for students. The report’s qualitative approach is well-suited to describing ways that schools can address the complex and deeply rooted problem of inequitable access to academic opportunity within secondary education.

Yet the report suffers, Professor Rubin explains, by not being grounded in the research literature on learning and inequality, and by an inattention to the experiences of students from the least-represented groups in advanced placement courses nationwide. In lacking these features, the report misses an opportunity to address key educational justice issues.

Overall, while it provides some inspiring examples, more detailed and rigorous description of methods and analysis would make a stronger case for the report’s highlighted interventions.

Find the Think Twice Review by Rubin on the web:
http://www.greatlakescenter.org

Think Twice, a project of the National Education Policy Center (NEPC), provides the public, policymakers and the press with timely, academically sound reviews of selected publications. The project is made possible by funding from the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice.

Find Systems for Success: Thinking Beyond Access to AP, written by Ashley Griffin and Davis Dixon and published by The Education Trust, at:
https://edtrust.org/resource/systems-success-thinking-beyond-access-ap/

 You can also find the review by Beth C. Rubin at the NEPC website:
https://nepc.colorado.edu/thinktank/review-AP

– ### –

 Friend on Facebook

 Follow on Twitter

The mission of the Great Lakes Center for Education Research & Practice is to support and disseminate high quality research and reviews of research for the purpose of informing education policy and to develop research-based resources for use by those who advocate for education reform.

Visit the Great Lakes Center website at http://www.greatlakescenter.org/

September 23, 2018

Worth A Read

And this regular Sunday feature seems to be sticking around.

Worth A Read


Learning From What Doesn’t Work in Teacher Evaluation

Posted: 23 Aug 2018 09:00 PM PDT

Description:  the authors combed through legal documents to identify the strongest objections to the use of value added (VAM) as a teacher measurement and accountability strategy.  The lessons to be learned from these cases are important and timely given that under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), local education leaders once again have authority to decide for themselves how to assess teachers’ work. The report found that year-to-year inconsistencies in teacher scores, bias in VAM-based estimates, gaming, and lack of transparency about how the scores are calculated continue to affect evaluations and were considered credible issues by the courts. The authors include positive changes that states are making under ESSA to help inform better practice. 
Next Page »

Blog at WordPress.com.