ERIC Number: ED318127
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Jan-23
Shortchanging Education: A Case Study in Flawed Economics. Technical Assessment.
Department of Education, Washington, DC. Office of Planning, Budget, and Evaluation.
The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) study, by measuring comparative education spending levels between the United States and other industrialized nations, shifts the focus of the education debate from the critical issue of how to reform American's education system to matching spending with other nations. The EPI calculates a country's education spending as the ratio of that country's educational expenditures to its national income. A superior method for equating education expenditure levels among countries is Purchasing Power Parity. When this method is used to equate per-student expenditures across nations, the ranking of countries changes dramatically from the EPI analysis. Because private spending constitutes a significant share of America's preprimary education, total U.S. spending for preprimary education is understated in the EPI report relative to the spending of other nations in which preprimary education is publicly supported. When pre-K through 12 spending is accurately compared to other nations, the U.S. ranks second only to Switzerland out of 22 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development countries. A comparative review of 187 studies of the relationship between spending and achievement scores uncovered no significant correlation between the two; thus, the discussion on how to improve education must focus on how to improve the use of resources. (KM)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Department of Education, Washington, DC. Office of Planning, Budget, and Evaluation.
Note: For the complete report analyzed here, see EA 021 819.