Money And School Performance:Lessons from the Kansas City Desegregation Experiment
For decades critics of the public schools have been saying, "You can't solve educational problems by throwing money at them." The education establishment and its supporters have replied, "No one's ever tried." In Kansas City they did try. To improve the education of black students and encourage desegregation, a federal judge invited the Kansas City, Missouri, School District to come up with a cost-is-no-object educational plan and ordered local and state taxpayers to find the money to pay for it.
Kansas City spent as much as $11,700 per pupil--more money per pupil, on a cost of living adjusted basis, than any other of the 280 largest districts in the country. The money bought higher teachers' salaries, 15 new schools, and such amenities as an Olympic-sized swimming pool with an underwater viewing room, television and animation studios, a robotics lab, a 25-acre wildlife sanctuary, a zoo, a model United Nations with simultaneous translation capability, and field trips to Mexico and Senegal. The student-teacher ratio was 12 or 13 to 1, the lowest of any major school district in the country.
The results were dismal. Test scores did not rise; the black-white gap did not diminish; and there was less, not greater, integration.
I've read most of this article, it is quite lengthy. The conclusion is quite obvious, money is not going to solve this issue. It can certainly help but the fundamental issue with education in this country is the parents. Take for example private schools, I often hear it's better because of smaller class sizes, better teachers etc. That certainly may be a factor however the largest factor is those students have parents that are going to be much more involved in their education.
Solution to the problem? Not sure there is one but certainly putting more money into it isn't going to get us anywhere when the biggest concern of the parents of these kids is who is today's guest on Oprah.