Improving Educational Productivity (HC) (Research in Educational Productivity)

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9781930608450: Improving Educational Productivity   (HC) (Research in Educational Productivity)

This volume and the conference that gave rise to the chapters reported herein was conceived as a vehicle for bringing together this new generation of economists for the purpose of showcasing their work and facilitating an exploration of the implications for practice. In so doing we were conscious of the divide that can exist between the world of economics and educational finance, and the world of policymaking. We noted with interest the recent Education Week feature on the important but largely unappreciated role that economics is playing in the development of educational policy. Martin Carnoy's comment that "Educators ... look at economists as dangerous people who don't know schools..."(Education Week, October 25, 2000, page 44) has special relevance to what we are seeking to accomplish here. The authors received strict instructions to think of policymakers at local, state, and national levels as the intended audience for their chapters. The goal here is not merely to produce work that could also appear in scholarly journals, but rather to reach out and explain and interpret the latest and most promising research on the economics of education for policymakers who must make difficult choices about where and how resources need to be allocated.

We are pleased with how each author rose to the challenge of the task. The chapters deal with timely topics and provide overviews, critiques, and findings that are rich in implications for how we can strengthen our schools. The overarching focus is on productivity and the efficiency of K-12 schooling systems, and the authors approach the topic in a number of different ways.

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Covering such issues as teaching quality, the interface between public and private schooling, and measuring school efficiency, this text addresses the improvement of educational productivity in the USA.

About the Author:

David H. Monk is Professor of Educational Administration and Dean of the College of Education at the Pennsylvania State University. He earned his Ph.D. in 1979 at the University of Chicago and was a member of the Cornell University faculty for 20 years before becoming dean at Penn State. He has also taught in a visiting capacity at the University of Rochester and at the University of Burgundy in Dijon, France. Dr. Monk is the author of Educational Finance: An Economic Approach, Raising Money for Education: A Guide to the Property Tax, with Brian O. Brent, and Making Cost Adjustments for Education, with William J. Fowler, as well as numerous articles in scholarly journals.

He serves on the editorial boards of the Economics of Education Review, the Journal of Education Finance, Educational Policy, and the Journal of Research in Rural Education. He consults widely on matters related to educational productivity and the organizational structuring of schools and school districts and is a past president of the American Education Finance Association.

Herbert J. Walberg is University Scholar and Research Professor of Education and Psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is also Distinguished

Visiting Fellow at Stanford University (1999-2004). He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and was formerly an Assistant Professor at Harvard University, where he taught test construction and related courses. He has written and edited more than 55 books and written about 350 articles on such topics as educational effectiveness and exceptional human accomplishments. Among his latest books are the International Encyclopedia of Educational Evaluation and Psychology and Educational Practice. Dr. Walberg served on the National Assessment Governing Board, "the national school board," which sets education standards for U.S. students and to measure progress in achieving them. The National Assessment provides information on changes in educational achievement in the U.S. as well as comparisons of individual states. A fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Psychological Association, and the Royal Statistical Society, Dr. Walberg is also a founding fellow and vice president of the International Academy of Education, headquartered in Brussels. He edits for the Academy a booklet series on effective educational practices, which is distributed by the International Bureau of Education to some 4,000 education officials in more than 150 developing countries. He has also given invited lectures to educators and policymakers in the U.S. and many foreign countries. He has frequently testified before U.S. congressional committees, state legislators, and federal courts. In his research, Dr. Walberg employs experiments and analyses of large national and international data sets to discover the factors in homes, schools, and communities that promote learning and other human accomplishments.

He also employs research synthesis to summarize effects of various educational conditions and methods on learning and other outcomes. The results of this work have important bearings on education policy and practice. For the U.S. Department of Education and the National Science Foundation, he carried out comparative research in Japanese and American schools. For the U.S. Department of State and the White House, he organized a radio series and book about American education distributed in 74 countries. Walberg chaired the Scientific Advisory Group for the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development project on international educational indicators. He also advised UNESCO and the governments of Israel, Japan, Sweden, and the U.K. on education research and policy. He advised several states on standards and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Educational Excellence and Testing Equity.

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