|Back to May Ed Reporter|
|NUMBER 160||THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS||MAY 1999|
Group Finds Increased Spending |
and Pupil Performance Unrelated
Data from the most recent school year studied (1996-97) show no statistically evident correlation between educational performance and per-pupil expenditures or teacher salaries. While spending for education increased 51% between 1976-1998, academic performance declined or stagnated. ALEC uses as an example the fact that SAT scores rose only 1.6% during this period, and points to the "tremendous" growth of charter schools, with their typically higher-than-average scores, to indicate that "improving student achievement is not based on dollars spent, schools constructed, or even the number of teachers hired."
The study's data do show a correlation between:
Educational performance and the number of students per school, with smaller schools performing better;
Higher performance and a lower percentage of a state's total budget received from the federal government;
Higher performance and higher pupil-per-teacher ratios.