When government is involved in education, you can expect controversy, and just perhaps, a poor fit between what schooling provides and what the needs of the days are.
You can read about the changes made in American education in a new report from the Kansas Policy Institute, called What do we want from education? I wrote the report, which finishes up a four-part series that KPI started last fall.
To review the series:
Part 1: A history of education finance (PDF), which traces school funding developments in Kansas, from statehood until the filing of the Montoy lawsuits.
Part 2: A legal Analysis of Montoy vs. State of Kansas (PDF), which unpacks the court’s reasoning.
Part 3: Analysis of K-12 spending in Kansas (PDF), which shows a great variation across districts in the amount of money spent, and the effectiveness of that money.
Part 4: What do we want from education?
Part 4 reviews:
- The cultural / religious rationales used for public education
- The merits and limits of “college education for all,” and suggestions for multiple paths for high school
- The impossibility of determining the “costs” of education aside from politics
- 90/90/90 schools: High poverty, high-minority enrollment schools that are high achievers
- Using the weighted-student funding formula to drive funding to schools and away from central administration
- Recommendations for making a school–and schools in general–more efficient in the use of public dollars
Much has been made of a “suitable” education, but Part 4 of the series suggests that in its current form, public schools do not provide every student with a “suitable” education, and won’t, regardless of how much money they have.