Giving Compass’ Take:
• Carolyn Phenicie covers the D.C. education panel as it tackles policies of choice and transparency in order to maximize the effectiveness of education funds.
• How could local autonomy increase education quality? Is the new federal funding enough?
• Read about education spending in the new federal funding bill.
As teachers go on strike for higher wages and more school funding, and Democratic presidential candidates propose dramatically increasing federal education spending, experts at a D.C. panel tackled a perpetual education question: How do we get better results for that money?
And at the final panel, top U.S. Education Department official Jim Blew discussed how choice should also be a discussion point in getting more value for the educational dollar.
“Every other sector of our economy has choice and competition which improves quality and drives down cost … And yet in our [education] system, even in these papers, we assume we’re not going to change that,” said Blew.
The federal government really shouldn’t play too big a role in figuring out how to get more value, he said, because it spends relatively little on education: Title I, the largest K-12 education program, equals only about $500 in additional spending per low-income child, he noted.
Among the presentations that sparked the most interest was one from Marguerite Roza, director of the Edunomics Lab and professor at Georgetown University, who recommended using a “Would you rather?” test. Like the popular kids’ game that pits two equal, if implausible, scenarios against each other, the method pairs two equally costly education program options and asks participants to choose their favorite.
The “would you rather” method is particularly helpful in economic downturns, and it works best when there’s strong local autonomy, she said.
Read the full article about maximizing school funds by Carolyn Phenicie at The 74.
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