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Shocker: Money And Class Size Don’t Matter!

Something published by the Washington Post when they thought nobody would be looking:

Study: Class size doesn’t matter

By Suzy Khimm
January 28, 2012

Two Harvard researchers looked at the factors that actually improve student achievement and those that don’t. In a new paper for the National Bureau of Economic Research, Will Dobbie and Roland Freyer analyzed 35 charter schools, which generally have greater flexibility in terms of school structure and strategy.

We find that traditionally collected input measures — class size, per pupil expenditure, the fraction of teachers with no certification, and the fraction of teachers with an advanced degree — are not correlated with school effectiveness.

Notice how the Washington Post downplayed the most shocking finding here. That ‘throwing money at schools’ does not help.

And neither does having a teacher’s certificate. (We wonder why they didn’t test for the importance of union membership?)

In stark contrast, we show that an index of five policies suggested by over forty years of qualitative research — frequent teacher feedback, the use of data to guide instruction, high-dosage tutoring, increased instructional time, and high expectations — explains approximately 50 percent of the variation in school effectiveness

High expectations? Tests? More time in the classroom? This sure sounds like that ‘ole time religion’ to us.

That is to say, the way things used to be before the federal government got involved.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, January 30th, 2012. Comments are currently closed.

8 Responses to “Shocker: Money And Class Size Don’t Matter!”

  1. GetBackJack says:


    When I was playing the field, money and size were everything.

  2. proreason says:

    Seems to me that the key factors are teachers who like kids, the ability to maintain discipline, access to successful teachers, and parental support, at least for elementary school.

    I just don’t see how advanced degrees have much to do with teaching young kids. It’s not like they are teaching thermo-dynamics. Surely there is value into understanding classroom dynamics and teaching methods, but isn’t observing a good teacher at least ten times as valuable as learning about it in a university setting.

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      “If you want to really learn a thing, teach it.”

      Knowing a lot about something is one thing. Teaching that subject is quite another. For one thing, the dynamics of the human mind, being what it is, presents the opportunity to have questions arise that may have never occurred to the instructor, or presented in ways not previously done.

      Good teachers though are very rare indeed. But not so rare as to be impossible to find. They are very special people and care deeply about the success of their students. I am fortunate to have had many good and a few great teachers. Nowadays, the unions and state-run structure do not foster education so much as they do indoctrination into a politically-correct, equality-of-outcome universe.

      This will be our nation’s downfall. For the national socialists, it will be a major victory. When they win, we lose.

    • GetBackJack says:

      Astonishing, isn’t it that our founding organic documents were authored by men with neither recourse to today’s “advanced degrees” nor even the advanced technical necessities required today.

      Rude pencils, rough paper, hand sharpened quill pens plucked from Geese. And yet what they accomplished are documents that are second only to the Holy Bible in depth, breadth and moral vision.

      How on earth did they manage it with educations based on only classic literature, fundamental mathematics and the Bible for their guide stones?

      Ever read the diaries, journals and letters of the rank and file on both sides of the War of Yankee Aggression? Achingly clear, concise expressions of longing, hope, courage, honor and Love. I defy any Ph.D. Chair of literature at Harvard or Yale to match these in moving, honest insight and communication of the soul.

      Money is the enemy of Education, which, btw – means in its original Latin to bring forth from within

      It does not mean drill a hole in Johnny’s head and pour in government nonsense and Hitleresque nomenclatura and Stalinesque propaganda passing for learning.

  3. Astravogel says:

    Another thing which would improve education is to remove all
    the ‘add-on’ courses in early childhood education (that’s grades
    1-4) such as Science, Social Studies, Advanced Math concepts,
    and History, and build a good foundation in Reading, Basic Math,
    and Spelling. Too many courses have been thrust upon children
    for too many arcane reasons when they don’t have the skills or
    interest to absorb them. Teachers have also been loaded down
    with unnecessary paperwork, supervision (they know how, just
    leave them alone to do it) and legislated/lawyered trivia. I recall
    a reasonably large school district which ran just fine on one
    superintendent and a secretary that now has the usual assistants,
    deputies, vice’s, transport directory 12 coaches for high school,
    curriculum coordinators (which is set by the state anyhoo) and
    so on and on and on. No clear lines of command, no responsibility,
    and the state tells the school board what to do. Goodness me, it
    sure has expanded the costs of education nowadays.

  4. canary says:

    Pay for Performance will not work.

  5. Anonymoose says:

    Few things have been more convoluted or tripped up in politics than education. It’s become a self feeding circle; people aren’t doing well in the workforce, must be education, spend more money, people somehow still don’t do well, spend more money, and so on.

    I would never even touch a teaching position, and I did at one point consider becoming a teacher. How more crazy can it get–zero tolerance policies where vitamins or aspirins are considered drugs and get kids suspended, pointing a finger and going “bang” is a threat of violence that can get the police called, troublemaker kids are given 6th, 7th, 8th chances rather just be expelled, and on and on.

    Education is run by people who worship, and are terrified of offending, their ideology of equality, conformity, and some sort liberal utopian concept of fairness.

    Get back to basics; teach kids how to read and write. Teach them science and math if they have the aptitude for it. Indoctrination–I mean, Social Studies, should be optional, and left for them to decide opinions rather than be told what to think.

    Maybe we don’t need everyone to go to college (Shock!) but look at trade schools so they can learn a profession rather than get a useless degree and be deep in debt.

  6. GetBackJack says:

    High expectations? Tests? More time in the classroom? This sure sounds like that ‘ole time religion’ to us.

    That is to say, the way things used to be before the federal government got involved.

    If I may say, as an unrepentant solidly secessionist son of the South rebel –

    This is why my fathers fought Washington. Not over slavery, but over the clear knowledge and foresight that Washington was morphing into the single greatest threat to the states United that make up America. And they were 100% right in their clairvoyance. They could see it coming and it did.

    You suffer today under the boot heel of the District and those who control it because we could not kill the Beast. We tried, and paid dearly for standing up to tyranny, but too many of our American brothers saw fit to support the Beast rather than stand it down.

    And now you get to live with that legacy.

    (that said, I’m no fool … had Jefferson Davis et al inter-alia won, we’d still have massive problems with our national government, different than now quite probably and quite possibly more horrendous, but we’d still be bedbugs to them because …. government meaning ruling yourself absent God, is the primary sin God is trying to get us to give up and why we need Redemption and Salvation. Our own actions are our worst enemy)

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