Report Card on American Education: A State-by-State Analysis, 15th Edition

Andrew LeFevre
American Legislative Exchange Council
2008

This report presents an overview of educational inputs, outputs, and demographics, both nationwide and state-by-state, over the last ten years. It underscores the well-known fact that there's little discernible relationship between spending and achievement. In fact, what little relationship there is actually demonstrates that an excess of the former may have, in fact, hindered the latter by wasting money on failed policies--policies that may have gotten in the way of effective instruction and money that could have been used for approaches that actually work. To emphasize this point, the report includes scads of charts longitudinally tallying, by state, everything from the number of teachers to actual federal dollars received each year for education. It also ranks the states by such factors as average per-pupil expenditure, pupil-teacher ratio, and average salary of instructional staff. Some noteworthy findings: D.C. is top dog when it comes to average salary of instructional staff ($61,195) but dead last in achievement. And average per-pupil expenditures nationwide have approximately doubled since A Nation at Risk. Plenty of useful data here, though the report paints with a very broad brush and doesn't do much adjusting for demographics, differing costs, and such. You can find it here.

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