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In Reason Foundation’s recently published Weighted Student Formula Yearbook 2013, Baltimore City Public School (BCPS) district received an overall “F” grade and ranked last among the school districts highlighted in the report. But the poor grade in the Yearbook – which measures student academic outcomes and implementation of each district’s student-based budgeting policy – does not mean that the district hasn’t made notable gains over the past few years.
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:
How governments and agencies are using market-based policies to improve services, become more efficient and reduce costsNovember 27, 2013
Edited by Reason Foundation's Leonard Gilroy, the Innovators in Action 2013 series profiles a range of innovators who have demonstrated leadership through action on privatization, competition, government re-invention and other market-based policy reforms designed to reduce the costs of government and deliver more value to taxpayers. Innovator interviews or self-penned articles will be added on a monthly basis throughout the year, so be sure to check back frequently for new content.
Prepare for the big drop in California test scoresOctober 8, 2013
On the recent state Academic Performance Index, which is based largely based on the results of statewide standardized tests, almost all of the school districts in California, and nearly all of Orange County’s school districts, saw slight dips in their scores.
While Orange County generally has higher API scores than the state, the average county API score declined six points from 839 in 2012 to 833 in 2013. Santa Ana Unified experienced the biggest drop, down 13 points. Capistrano Unified fell nine points, Fullerton and Anaheim Elementary both lost eight points, Laguna Beach Unified decreased five points, and Newport-Mesa Unified dropped four points.
But that’s just beginning. School districts and parents had better get used to the idea of test score “dips” because California's schools are likely in for a test-score free-fall.
A bill requiring charter school supporters to seek consent from both unionized school employees and teachers before establishing charter schools recently passed the California state Assembly, creating a potential roadblock to future charter school expansion
View Resources by Type
- How Football Fleeces Taxpayers: Gregg Easterbrook on The King of Sports
December 2nd, 2013
- Folk High Schools, Adult Education, and the Philosophy of Nikolaj Grundtvig
October 9th, 2013
- "Father of Video Games" Nolan Bushnell on Learning through Gaming
June 17th, 2013
- Matt Welch Discusses Public Education, Sequester Cuts, & Gun Control w/ Melissa Harris-Perry
April 19th, 2013
- How the Anti-Bully Movement is Hurting Kids: An Interview with Bully Nation's Susan Porter
April 10th, 2013
- Can Computers Replace Teachers?: Reason's Katherine Mangu-Ward
April 6th, 2013
- Is Homeschooling a Universal Human Right?
March 11th, 2013
- Loving Hayek and Partying with Milk: Q&A with Dorian Electra
February 24th, 2013
- Cutting Back City Hall: Reason Foundation's Adrian Moore and Julian Morris
February 23rd, 2013
- School Choice with Reason's Lisa Snell
February 10th, 2013
- National School Choice Week Lights Up Chicago
February 2nd, 2013
- Gov. Scott Walker Welcomes National School Choice Week to Wisconsin
January 31st, 2013
- Jonas Brothers Headline National School Choice Week 2013
January 28th, 2013
- National School Choice Week 2013 Kicks Off in Los Angeles
January 26th, 2013
- Andrew Campanella on National School Choice Week 2013
January 25th, 2013
- Censorship and "Unlearning Liberty" at College: Q&A with FIRE's Greg Lukianoff
December 6th, 2012
- Ladies, We're Screwed: Why Obama's Re-election is Bad for Choice
November 14th, 2012
- Khan Academy Founder Talks Radical Education Reform and The One World Schoolhouse
November 9th, 2012
- Liberty Fund's Chris Talley on Freedom, Dialogue, and Ama-gi Tattoos
October 23rd, 2012
- Reason-Rupe Poll on Fixing California, Prop 30, and Rolling Back State Spending
October 20th, 2012
- Marginal Revolution University: Q&A with Alex Tabarrok
October 9th, 2012
- Really Good Reasons to Skip College: Q&A with Blake Boles
October 7th, 2012
- Helicopter Parents vs. Free Range Kids: Q&A with "America's Worst Mom" Lenore Skenazy
October 5th, 2012
- The Deep Logic of the Chicago Teachers Strike or, The Truth Behind Teachers Unions
September 15th, 2012
- Alan Charles Kors on Speech Codes, Libertarianism, And the Case for the Humanities
September 11th, 2012