(Mike Chamberlain/The Cranky Hermit) – As the insults, personal attacks and hysterical shrieking about the proposed budget cuts continues from the education establishment, we’ve yet to discover any credible support for their theory that increased spending improves education.
A few weeks ago, in my role with the Nevada Business Coalition, I performed a little analysis to demonstrate how ridiculous this theory was. I chose a completely random and unrelated metric – something that could not possibly have any impact whatsoever on educational performance – and compared its correlation to student test scores with the correlation between educational spending and test scores. The metric I chose was the length of a state’s name.
Turns out (surprise! surprise!) that there was a greater correlation between the length of a state’s name and the performance of its students than there was with educational spending. And it wasn’t even close. In fact, the longer students are in school the closer the relationship to name length and the weaker the relationship to spending. The name relationship was negative, meaning the shorter the name the higher the student performance.
Cranky Hermit contributor Patrick Gibbons performed a similar analysis at his home blog, The Western Wrangler. Gibbons looked at test scores for low-income students and checked those for their correlation with student achievement. You’ll never guess what he found. Slide on over and take a look.