Browsing Educational Leadership, Administration, and Foundations by Subject "School funding."
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A Thorough and Efficient Education: School Funding, Student Achievement and ProductivityMany school districts are facing stagnant or reduced funding (input) concurrent with demands for improved student achievement (output). In other words, there is pressure for all schools, even those schools with student populations of low socioeconomic status, to improve academic results (accountability for output) without a directly proportionate increase in resources (adequacy of input); in essence, to improve productivity. This study a) examined the productivity of Indiana school districts, b) analyzed the effect of student populations of low socioeconomic status on district productivity, and c) explored the change in district productivity since the passage of accountability legislation. In Research Question #1, archival data on the expenditures and student performance of 292 Indiana public school districts was mined and analyzed. Productivity indicators were developed, revealing in 2008 13.9 students demonstrated mastery of Indiana academic standards on ISTEP+ for every $100,000 of General Fund expenditures. However, the range of productivity indicators between districts varied greatly, even among districts of similar socioeconomic status, calling into question whether demography was as critical a productivity predictor as it was generally argued to be. In Research Question #2, regression analysis revealed a statistically significant negative relationship between the socioeconomic status of its student population and its productivity on an overall basis, however a disaggregated analysis of socioeconomic quartiles revealed the relationship between socioeconomic status and productivity at some levels to be statistically insignificant. Such a finding seemed to indicate again that the predictive value of socioeconomic status to learning results was less reliable than generally suggested. Finally, in Research Question #3 analysis of variance of district productivity revealed that productivity declined steadily in years prior to enactment of the No Child Left Behind and began to improve the year the accountability legislation was enacted, suggesting that accountability measures may have changed educator behavior in a way that resulted in an increase of students able to demonstrate proficiency at state academic standards without a proportionate increase of expenditures.