Spending More While Learning Less. Fordham Report, Volume 2, Number 6.Report as inadecuate

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Fordham Report, v2 n6 Jul 1998

The state of education in the United States is examined by asking how much educational value schools add as children pass through them, and at what cost. This approach eases the problems that arise from differing background experiences as children start school. Issues related to academic achievement in the United States are studied through a comparison of school effects from members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Data from the most recent international surveys of the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development show that among schools in comparable countries, those in the United States on average make the smallest year-to-year gains in academic achievement. The longer American students spend in school, the farther behind they fall. Yet, per-pupil expenditures in the United States are among the world's highest. Because they make the poorest progress and rank in the highest category of spending, U.S. schools, by nationally agreed on standards, are least productive among those in comparably economically advanced countries. In reading, mathematics, and science through eighth grade, U.S. schools rank last in four of five comparisons of achievement progress. However, per-student expenditures on U.S. primary and secondary schools were third highest among more than 20 advanced countries. Today, unlike the past, more secondary school students in comparable countries on average remain in school than students in the United States do, so their superior achievement gains do not depend on student selectivity or higher dropout rates. An appendix discusses value-added achievement comparisons. (Contains two tables and seven charts.) (SLD)

Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Comparative Analysis, Costs, Elementary Secondary Education, Expenditure per Student, International Education, Low Achievement, Performance Factors, Productivity

Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, 1015 18th Street, N.W., Suite 300, Washington, DC 20036.

Author: Walberg, Herbert J.

Source: https://eric.ed.gov/?q=a&ft=on&ff1=dtySince_1992&pg=12569&id=ED423263

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