NEPC: Base productivity ideas on research

The U.S. Department of Education’s Increasing Educational Productivity project, which provides dollar-stretching advice to school districts, isn’t backed by solid research, charges a National Education Policy Center report.

Researchers have ignored efficiency and productivity “over the last half-century,” responds Rick Hess. “Most cost-saving efforts in most sectors are based on sensible intuitions and experimentation rather than “rigorous science.”

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  1. tim-10-ber says:

    Why should this be a surprise? I would love to see a complete end to end process review of back office (i.e. administrative offices and positions) in government schools to see 1) how manual it is; 2) how many layers of management there are (too many from all I hear); 3) how redundant it is and 4) make the serious recommendations to slash dollars out of the central office and wasted/ineffective programs wasting tax-payer dollars that could be put in the classrooms…

    Does any one know a school system that has even done this and then inspects it regularly? If not, why is it not done?

    • Come on, the answer’s obvious. Or at least it ought to be.

      Who reports to whom? Who asks permission to send a child to a better school and of whom? The answers to your questions reside in the answers to my questions.

      If teachers are subordinate to principals then whose convenience, safety, job security and career prospects are most important? A principal reports to an assistant superintendent then whose…well, you get the picture.

      With those relationships firmly in mind, what conceivable reason could there be to conduct audits to determine the educational efficacy, i.e. productivity, of some policy or idea? Personal pride? A potent force but not one you can order up as needed and not a quality that’s widely appreciated among those who are comfortable with the educational status quo boat-rockers having fewer friends then is generally assumed by those not subject to the inconvenience of that boat-rocking.

      That’s why efficiency, productivity and even educational efficacy have been so widely ignored by both researchers and practitioners; the people who care have no influence and the people who have influence don’t have to care.