REL 2004 Policy Forum
Policy Implications for Effective Resource Allocation
|Karen Mapp is the Deputy Superintendent for Family and Community Engagement at the Boston Public Schools and President of the Institute for Responsive Education. In her two positions she is responsible for overseeing the development of initiatives to enhance family and community involvement in schools, as well as national research focused on the impact of partnership on student achievement. Mappís recent publications include: Helping Students Graduate: A Strategic Approach to Dropout Prevention; Having Their Say: Parents Describe Why and How They are Engaged in Their Children's Learning; and A New Wave of Evidence: The Impact of School, Family and Community Connections on Student Learning.|
|Dr. Karen L. Mapp
Ed. D. Harvard
|Larry Picus is a professor in the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California. He is the director of the Center for Research in Education Finance and a past president of the American Education Finance Association. Picus also serves as a senior adviser for SEDLís Regional Educational Laboratory policy work. His publications include In Search of More Productive Schools: A Guide to Resource Allocation in Education; Developing Community Empowered Schools and School Finance: A Policy Perspective; Where Does the Money Go? Resource Allocation in Elementary and Secondary Schools; Setting Budget Priorities; and Using School Level Finance Data: Endless Opportunity or Bottomless Pit?|
|Dr. Lawrence O. Picus
Ph.D. RAND Graduate School
|Richard Rothstein is a research associate at the Economic Policy Institute, visiting professor at Teachers College, Columbia University, and senior correspondent for The American Prospect. From 1999-2002, he was the national education columnist of The New York Times. Rothstein's recent publications include: Class and Schools: Using Social, Economic and Educational Reform to Close the Black-White Achievement Gap; The Way We Were? Myths and Realities of America's Student Achievement; All Else Equal: Are Public and Private Schools Different? and Where's the Money Going? Changes in the Level and Composition of Education Spending.|
Rothstein discussed the costs to meet national achievement standards related to the gap. He noted $8,000–$9,000 per pupil is spent, on average, nationally and this would have to double for most children and be $20,000 or more for disadvantaged children to reach NCLB goals. He pointed out 20 percent increments in teacher salaries have not been enough to attract teachers to unattractive schools (high poverty, high minority, and rural schools), yet pay incentives are important. Further, class size reduction would be beneficial from the current national average of 24 pupils in K–3 classes to 18, but would increase costs by approximately 25 percent. He also spoke about time resources teachers need to meet achievement goals, including additional hours per week and lower class loads. He recommended these resources to narrow the gap: early childhood programs and child care of high quality, afterschool and summer school programs, and health and social institutions (e.g., dental or ophthalmology clinic in schools would cost approximately $500 per pupil). He emphasized targeted spending, i.e., make informed decisions about which interventions to prioritize for the most gain, especially for disadvantaged students.
Mapp stated the education community needs to be more entrepreneurial and collaborate across all agencies serving children. This includes cross-functional conversations and reciprocity of services with the business community, health organizations, and other agencies outside the public education system. This will take a willingness of all agencies, especially education, to admit their challenges and weaknesses. Further, federal funding to support federal achievement gap policies must be provided. Mapp pointed out that prioritizing and targeting efforts to make the biggest impact is important as we cannot do everything at once. A first step is to focus on educators’ belief systems and behaviors, especially in leadership, to ensure they value family and community partnerships, have the knowledge about how to build effective partnerships, and engage in difficult conversations about how to involve parents and community members from all racial and social backgrounds. To do this, training, professional development, and systems for staff accountability are needed in education.
Picus responded to the costs Rothstein discussed by emphasizing money must be spent on resources that will make a difference. It is important to have long-term goals for student achievement and a plan for the resources needed to reach those goals, rather than responding to day-to-day pressures. He noted education, social services, health, and other state agencies must coordinate the services they provide for children, pooling state funds rather than competing for them. Picus emphasized schools must learn to take advantage of all resources and services in their communities to coordinate and target them to best help the students who need them.
The discussion following the panel presentation offered several strategies and resources:
- information on public trust of schools and a national alumni organization for all public school attendees – Public Education Network http://www.publiceducation.org/
- “principal for a day” program bringing business leaders to schools http://web.naesp.org/pfad/
- needs and asset mapping, possibly using a fishbowl discussion http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/hrd/learning/fishbowls.html