Linking Spending to Accountability, Part II

Earlier this week, I wrote about the Odden and Picus editorial in a recent edition of Education Week.  They called for a linking between school finance and certain programs that are shown to have positive effects on student achievement such as class size and remediation.

This week’s Education Week (Vol 27, No. 2, 9/5/2007) has a front page article about New York serving as something of a test case for this idea.  The state has begun a “Contract for Excellence” program, in which 55 of their districts will get extra aid, but it will be tied to rigorous plans for implementing five strategies for improving achievement.   The five strategies include class size reduction, teacher and principal quality, full-day pre-K and kindergarten, longer school day, and middle and high school restructuring.  School divisions are implementing various programs to meet the requirements.  Their main concerns are how the state is going to assess their success.  For now, according to the article, the state education officials will look at whether the schools’ have made adequate yearly progress.

In terms of policy-making, this new trend shows a clear move toward more state control of local school divisions.  As with the federal government, that control often turns into monetary incentives.

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