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Hope and a Couple of Bucks Will Buy a Cup of (Reform) Coffee

Posted By: Dick Schutz on September 7, 2010
". . .we do hope that in the upcoming years the research evidence will begin to play a larger role in policymaking."

So ends the article. The answer to the question that is the title of the article, "School Finance and Courts: Does Reform Matter, and How Can We Tell?" is:

We can't.

We can't even operationalize "reform." As the substance of the article indicates, the "evidence" is logically and methodologically flawed, and is politically driven and politically used. There is no way under the sun that these conditions will change in the foreseeable future. That's good or bad news depending upon one's point of view.

The keds-on-the-ground news is that the economy has changed. The era of "more money" for education has ended. The US and all Western European countries are in a deep fiscal hole. El-hi is going to have to compete at the state and local levels with other services--police, fire-fighting, health, to name a few. Our children are our future and the public schools provide cheap babysitting in a secure, nurturing environment, if nothing else. But EdLand Is going to have to learn to do more with less.

That's a new thought for researchers, and "we" are ill-equipped to aid the process. It's going to require some capacity building of the institution, of the sort that the US is investing in Iraq and Afghanistan. Can that be done? Yes it can. But "turning around" educational researchers is a daunting endeavor.

Dick Schutz
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 Hope and a Couple of Bucks Will Buy a Cup of (Reform) Coffee by Dick Schutz on September 7, 2010
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