If spending more per student resulted in higher test scores, taxpayers would likely not object to paying higher taxes. But New York State already spends $23,000 per student, which is more than any other state and has little to show for it (“New York taxpayers don’t need to pay any more school aid,” New York Post, Dec. 23).
On the latest National Assessment for Educational Progress tests, for example, students in the state posted scores that were “not significantly different” from the national average in math and reading. In fact, fourth graders did worse in math. I realize that test scores alone do not capture overall educational quality, but the situation in New York State can’t be dismissed. Taxpayers deserve an explanation.
That’s particularly so in New York State, where funding has skyrocketed 80 percent from $15 billion in 2005 to $27 billion today. I question if spending more per student will improve test scores. Granted, there are other outcomes to look at. For example, has the on-time graduation rate improved? Has the achievement gap between the races been narrowed? But in the final analysis, taxpayers persist in focusing on test scores. Unless they rise, taxpayers are going to resist being taxed more heavily.
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