Measuring the Efficiency of Schools
Education Week’s “On Performance” blog explores new ideas for measuring school effectiveness this week. Justin Baeder suggests looking at a school’s success through its efficiency, rather than solely through overall achievement.
“An efficient school is one that can educate students better with less money, relative to how other schools do with similar students and similar funding,” Baeder writes. “If we can figure out what works - what's ‘efficient’ - it would follow that we can sustainably replicate it.”
Baeder argues that although innovative education models may produce higher test scores, they are often too expensive to be replicated on a larger scale. Likewise, if schools that serve upper-middle-class students are receiving the same amount of money as schools serving high-poverty populations, the efficiency gap may continue to widen.
“There's of course the important point that the purpose of education isn't to turn dollars into test scores,” Baeder concludes. “It's to educate students, and to prepare them for citizenship and adulthood. We should be careful not to confuse our purposes with our metrics. But I think we should give efficiency measures a try.”
Read the full blog post here.