[IAEP] Another interesting Map

Caroline Meeks caroline at solutiongrove.com
Thu Jan 27 19:24:28 EST 2011

Thanks Caryl,

Very interesting. I took a quick look at the methods

They say they adjust for poverty and English Language Learners and Special
Education.  The first two I understand but it seems to me the number of
children with physical special needs should be fairly constant, perhaps
varying with poverty so should not need adjusting for.  We know that black
males are vastly disproportionally designated as special education and that
poor teaching itself can cause disabilities.  So I am not impressed that
they are controlling for special education designation.

It also doesn't look like their calculation takes into account the cost of
students going to prison as adults.  The school to prison pipeline is a huge
economic drain.  I also don't see that it takes drop out rate into account.

Caryl, I think its a myth that good teachers can make up for broken systems.
 Perhaps this map can point people a couple of places where things are
working that can be learned from, although I would look very hard at special
education, drop out rate and incarceration rates before I decided any school
system was working well based on this data.  I don't see how you can look at
places where they aren't working and point to a specific cause such as
teacher effort or quality.

Looking at the data from Massachusetts, it seems to completely follow how
urban/difficult the demographics seem to me. so I really wonder if they did
their controls correctly.  My son;s school system, Winchester, was the very
top most efficient school system in MA. Its a smaller town, very white, very
rich, very very well education.

Hmm, I actually don't see any difference between Adjusted and Basic ROI in
Massachusetts, perhaps this map is just plain broken?

On Mon, Jan 24, 2011 at 1:36 PM, Caryl Bigenho <cbigenho at hotmail.com> wrote:

>  Hi All
> Please grant me a small rant...
> Here is another interesting map for you.  It is supposed to show the
> "return on investment" (ROI) for schools in the United States, where data is
> available, based on per-pupil spending and scores on achievement tests.
> Some states, such as Montana and Massachusetts, did not have data available
> to be included (or perhaps they did not release it for the study).  The New
> York City school system is not included, even though most other districts in
> the state are.
> http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2011/01/educational_productivity/
> The take-away I got from this map was that, in 2 areas I am familiar with,
> Southern California and the Dallas-Fort Worth area, the high ROI districts
> are in the more well-to-do suburbs while the low ROI districts are where the
> less affluent families, often with children who are English language
> learners, and/or living in unbelievably stressful circumstances. Los Angeles
> is one of these, with the lowest possible ROI.
> Yet, I know, first hand what the teachers are doing in Los Angeles. And,
> while some of them are definitely not effective, most are dedicated, hard
> working educators. With very limited resources, they have to deal daily with
> the kinds of problems teachers in the suburban districts can only have
> nightmares about... classroom shootings, lock-downs, child labor, children
> having children,  astronomical drop-out rates ... and the list could go on
> and on. You name it, it will be there, and common.
> These children are in as much need of help as any others, anywhere else in
> the world. Yet we all tend to look outside our country for projects where we
> can feel good about helping needy children.
> Sorry for the rant.... I know others have said all this before, but not
> enough of us see it, and sometimes I too, tend to forget it.
> Caryl
> _______________________________________________
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Caroline Meeks
Solution Grove
Caroline at SolutionGrove.com

617-500-3488 - Office
505-213-3268 - Fax
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