Stephen Moore, senior economics editor for the Wall St. Journal, looks at “negative productivity” in public education:
Where are the productivity gains in government? Consider a core function of state and local governments: schools. Over the period 1970-2005, school spending per pupil, adjusted for inflation, doubled, while standardized achievement test scores were flat. Over roughly that same time period, public-school employment doubled per student, according to a study by researchers at the University of Washington. That is what economists call negative productivity.
But education is an industry where we measure performance backwards: We gauge school performance not by outputs, but by inputs. If quality falls, we say we didn’t pay teachers enough or we need smaller class sizes or newer schools. If education had undergone the same productivity revolution that manufacturing has, we would have half as many educators, smaller school budgets, and higher graduation rates and test scores.
Hi and hope this finds you well!
Thanks again for all the work that you do keeping up with your blog.
My reaction… to this post is i am glad Mr. Moore in a senior econimics editor and not working around too many human beings 🙂
This “factory model” thinking is not a bad thing when dealing with things that are “manufactured”
( by the way do we manufacture much anymore in America? )
Human beings are not widgets… schools are not factories and gauging them by “inputs” and “outputs” is just poor thinking.
As complex learning systems, schools are far more organic and dynamic than linear.
Human beings Mr. Moore…not widgets!
Do not take me wrong… educational systems need transformation… but not this way!
be well… mike