Parity

Maryland will have to provide the same per-pupil funding to charter schools as to district-run schools, according to a court ruling. The Baltimore Sun reports:

Maryland has 24 charter schools, 17 of them in Baltimore.

The city spends the equivalent of about $11,000 per child in its regular public schools.

Charter schools in the city receive $5,859 per child in cash and the rest in services that the school system provides, such as special education and food.

Baltimore school officials say they may appeal the ruling.

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Comments

  1. Wayne Martin says:

    Wonder what this will do to the argument that Charter schools are less expensive to run than District schools?

  2. Funny, I was wondering what this might do to the “educational equity” law suit fad.

  3. wayne writes: the argument that Charter schools are less expensive to run than District schools

    one conflates inputs and outputs at great peril. Either might even cost more, but get far better results.

    the ironclad measure of schools is cost per college-ready graduate. In today and tomorrow’s economy, any other outcomes will be not only expensive: remediation in community college, on-the-job training or career transition, but also wasteful of people and futures. Granted that this spotlight shines on a host of social factors, but comparisons of schools by this metric are illuminating.

    For the charter I know, the cost per student is lower that the district school … but the cost per college ready graduate is FAR lower.

  4. Wayne Martin says:

    > the ironclad measure of schools is cost
    > per college-ready graduate.

    Hmm .. I’ve look at my fair share of educational performance and financial data, and never seen this metric before. It’s an interesting one, as long as we dismiss the value of education for students not headed for college.

    Oh, and with a drop-out rate of about 50% (at the national average), how does one determine a student to be “college ready” if the student flunks out within his/her first two years?

  5. If a child drops out rather than succeeding in school, there has clearly been a failure of the school to fulfill its mission. The student is clearly not “college ready” – with a less than 1% exception of students who dropped out because they truly already knew everything in the school…

    The proper metric is probably something like “real knowledge learned with certainty”. Of course, then educrats and faddists get to define anything they want as “real knowledge”, so it’s a bit tough to apply.

  6. Wayne writes: It’s an interesting one, as long as we dismiss the value of education for students not headed for college.

    Not dismissing that group at all … more to the point, awakening that all work will require a higher education level and that an educated informed citizen is a social good — even if the student chooses not to go to college. The point is not to choose for them by not educating them.

    Core value: measure outcomes, not inputs

    The metric already exists in California: look up grads with UC/CSU requirements. Here it is by county, but one can drill down to the school level. http://dq.cde.ca.gov/dataquest/stgradnum.asp?cChoice=StGrdEth2&cYear=2004-05&cLevel=State&cTopic=Graduates&myTimeFrame=S&submit1=Submit

    One can compare against budget for a cost per graduate or against 9th grad enrollment 4 years earlier to get a college ready graduation rate.

  7. Wayne Martin says:

    > Grads Who Are College Ready:
    > http://dq.cde.ca.gov/dataquest/stgradnum.as

    You are correct. I’ve seen that statistic before, but only at the state level. It’s generally not used in any of the district level documentation for budgets.

    > awakening that all work will require a
    > higher education level

    However, I do take exception to this belief.

    There are too many jobs that are simply manual labor oriented that being “college ready” is unnecessary, and not cost-effective for public education.

  8. >You are correct. I’ve seen that statistic
    >before, but only at the state level. It’s
    >generally not used in any of the district
    >level documentation for budgets.

    not needed for budgets, just to measure success (which often then determines support for those budgets) Agree that it is not generally used, but “generally not used” is a far cry from “should not be used” — as noted above, it is a powerful diagnostic tool.

    >However, I do take exception to this belief.
    >There are too many jobs that are simply manual
    >labor oriented that being “college ready” is
    >unnecessary, and not cost-effective for public >education.

    name a few … and then go on to specify why
    a) that job will never change
    b) those workers shouldn’t be informed, engaged citizens
    c) why students should be selected for those roles in HS
    This “not-cost effective” outlook is at the root of why public education is in such current disarray: low standards, low expectations, and low outcomes. BTW my stance is not to dismantle public education, but to improve it. But it’s hard to improve what you don’t measure.

  9. Wayne Martin says:

    The US BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) has many lists of occupations. The following job titles were on the bottom of one of the lists (ranked by income):

    Hoist and Winch Operators
    Industrial Truck and Tractor Operators
    Cleaners of Vehicles and Equipment
    Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers, Hand
    Machine Feeders and Offbearers
    Packers and Packagers, Hand
    Gas Compressor and Gas Pumping Station Operators
    Pump Operators, Except Wellhead Pumpers
    Wellhead Pumpers
    Refuse and Recyclable Material Collectors
    Tank Car, Truck, and Ship Loaders

    There are hundreds of jobs listed by the BLS that are not likely to need “higer education” (like these jobs) in the foreseeable future. It’s always possibe that some jobs will simply “go away”, such as grocery store checkers. At a local Albertson’s there are self-checkout machines which have replaced a goodly number of checkers. Distancle learning could easily replaces a certain number of teachers.

    As to the question of why these bottom-end jobs might not change (assuming that they aren’t outsourced in some way), it’s certainly possible. More automation is always likely, but it’s not clear how much trigonometry or chemistry an automated cemement handler will need.

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