I missed it earlier, but this paper by E. Jason Baron is an important addition to the school funding debate. In Wisconsin, districts have to hold separate bond referenda if they want to raise operational spending (for things like instruction and supports) or capital spending (for school facilities). This allowed Baron to conclude that bond referenda focused on operational spending led to higher teacher pay and higher retention rates, not to mention increases in test scores and postsecondary enrollment. In contrast, however, the referenda focused on facilities were unrelated to changes in student outcomes. As I warned when the latest NAEP results came out, not all school spending is equal. And just because we’re spending more money on education in general, that doesn’t mean it’s going toward the things that actually produce gains for students.
Here’s a conversation between Bonnie O’Keefe, Brandon Lewis, and Jenn Schiess on school performance frameworks and the Chalkbeat story on GreatSchools’ ratings.
A report from Morgan Polikoff and Jennifer Dean finds that the materials on lesson-sharing websites Teachers Pay Teachers, ReadThinkWrite, and Share My Lesson are often weak and pitched below grade-level of the targeted students.
The WSJ reports on an open secret in the 403(b) world: Teachers are being targeted by predatory financial companies, and their school district employers are at best willing collaborators in these schemes.
Can we improve the standardized testing process by providing better, more tailored information to parents and teachers? EdNavigator tried a cool experiment of mailing “packets” of information (plus McDonald’s gift cards!) to high-performing Louisiana students. Read about their results here.
Speaking of boosting college completions, check out this story from Erica Bruenlin at the Colorado Sun. About 35 percent of Colorado’s public high school juniors and seniors were enrolled in college-level courses in 2017-18, up from 19 percent in 2012. Moreover, about 2,700 high school students completed some form of postsecondary credential in 2018, up 37 percent from the year prior.
–Guest post by Chad Aldeman