More money doesn't help school children, says UW professor

January 28, 2013

A single data chart caused a big stir last week when Professor Marguerite Roza of the Center for Reinventing Public Education at the U.W. presented her findings to the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee. Professor Roza's presentation only happened because the Committee is under new leadership. Senator Steve Litzow (R–Mercer Island) is allowing committee members to see briefing materials and consider bills that were previously blocked under the chairmanship of Senator Rosemary McAuliffe (D-Bothell).

As described in Austin Jenkins' reporting at N.W. News Network, the chart "mapped all 295 school districts in Washington plus funding levels and student performance. ‘And what you can see when you look at the relationship between spending and outcomes for our state is very little relationship, right?' Roza told lawmakers. In other words, more money doesn’t necessarily translate into better student performance."

The chart shows that spending levels are unrelated to student performance. Some of the best schools have some of the lowest funding levels, and some of the worst schools receive the most money.

The findings confirm what Washington Policy Center research has shown for some time: simply pouring more money into an unreformed monopoly system does not help children.

Here's the chart that causing all the buzz.


Foolish conclusion

Well of course there's no relationship between spending and achievement. What kind of fool would think that there would be such a relationship?

Achievement is driven, in bulk, by home-based factors, not school-based factors.

Expenses are driven, in bulk, by the number and severity of student disabilities, by the number and concentration of students living in poverty, and by the number of students who are English Language Learners.

What's the dot to the

What's the dot to the furthest on the right of the graph, $5,015?

I need more scale on the X-axis!


"Professor Roza's presentation only happened because the Committee is under new leadership."

And you know this how? Because I know that Professor Paul Hill and other researchers at CFRE have testified before numerous committees.

And this laughable chart? It doesn't even identify what the lower left quadrant or upper right quadrant are. What is the spending level out to the far right?

If this is what legislators believe is "data", we're all in trouble.