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Examining the results in districts using portable student fundingDecember 5, 2013
The Houston Independent School District scored an A+ thanks to significant test score improvements by disadvantaged students and a significant closing of the achievement gap between affluent and low-income students, according to Reason Foundation’s new Weighted Student Formula Yearbook.
Examining 14 school districts currently using portable student funding, the Weighted Student Formula Yearbook grades and ranks each district in 10 categories, including test scores, achievement gaps, graduation rates, and transparency.
“Some of the country’s largest school districts are now using portable or backpack funding systems that allow money to follow students to their schools,” said Lisa Snell, co-author of the report and director of education at Reason Foundation. “This study gives us the ability to make apples-to-apples comparisons, identify what’s helping kids, and flag what may need to be done differently.”
Houston outperformed all other districts, scoring an A+ in the rankings due in large part to an impressive reduction in achievement gaps. Hartford, Cincinnati and Oakland were the other districts earning A grades. Minneapolis, San Francisco, Boston and Poudre (CO) received B grades. Baltimore’s poor proficiency rates in reading, math, and science along with large achievement gaps between students of different income levels resulted in the report’s only F. The study’s rankings and grades are:
Budgeting control, choice, competition, and weighted student funding formula increase school performanceSeptember 3, 2013
In 2013, District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) students in traditional public schools and charter schools made significant academic gains, giving validation to DCPS’s ongoing school reform efforts. Test score data from the 2013 D.C. Comprehensive Assessment System shows that in traditional public schools students improved their proficiency in math and reading by 3.6 percentage points and 3.9 percentage points respectively, bringing proficiency rates to 49.5 percent for math and 47.4 percent for reading. Charter schools in the district have improved even more, with a 58.6 percent proficiency rate in math and 53 percent proficiency rate in reading. These scores reflect rapid improvement from the pre-reform performance of 2007 when district proficiency rates in reading (34.7 percent proficient) and math (28.5 percent proficient) were less than 35 percent.
The higher performance of DCPS’s charter schools helps make a compelling case that more should be done to offer all DC schools more charter-like autonomies so school leaders can use resources to make decisions that best meet the needs of their students. Charter schools doing so well on reading and math tests give principals more autonomy and the ability to use their budget authority to drive instructional change, such as implementing new programs tailored to their student’s needs.
Governor Brown’s New School Funding Program Shows Promise, but Lacks Mechanisms to Ensure Transparency and EquityJuly 1, 2013, 1:44pm
View Resources by Type
- Accelerate DC Public School Improvement Through Charter-Like Autonomy
Budgeting control, choice, competition, and weighted student funding formula increase school performance
September 3, 2013
- Lessons for Gov. Brown’s California School Finance Plan
The governor's education reforms are good steps, but need to go further
May 15, 2013
- Weighted Student Formula in the States
Subsection of Annual Privatization Report 2013: Education
April 29, 2013
- Frequently Asked Questions About Weighted Student Formula
Is it the right school finance solution for Indiana?
January 24, 2008
- Weighted Student Formula and School Empowerment
Interview with Dr. William G. Ouchi
January 24, 2008
- Urban Schools Scores Rise When Parents, Principals Lead
"Weighted Student Formula" helping urban school districts close the achievement gap
August 26, 2007
- The Weighted Student Formula
Is There a Better Way to Fund Indiana Education?
March 15, 2007
- For Answer to LAUSD's Woes, Look North
Weighted student formula can help mayor improve Los Angeles schools
August 27, 2006
- Align Education Funds and Results
Weighted student formulas help accountability
February 19, 2005
- Restructuring California's School Finance System
State should use weighted student formula
January 23, 2004
- Weighted Student Formula Yearbook 2013 (12/5)
- Accelerate DC Public School Improvement Through Charter-Like Autonomy (9/3)
- Missouri Schools Need Tenure Reform and Weighted Student Formula (8/29)
- The Potential of Student-Based Budgeting for Florida (7/1)
- Governor Brown’s New School Funding Program Shows Promise, but Lacks Mechanisms to Ensure Transparency and Equity (7/1)
Experts: Weighted Student Formula
- Lisa Snell
Director of Education
RSS Feeds: Weighted Student Formula
Media ContactChris Mitchell
Director of Communications
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