The average SAT scores of College bound seniors separated by percentile and subject compared with the average spending per student.
Spending and Performance in Today’s Schools
Published Monday, August 24th, 2009
With the new school year upon us, it’s a good time to consider the quality and cost of the education provided by our local public school systems. One way to quantify the quality and cost of their education is to look at spending and performance, but by no means is this the only method. The top spending states are Vermont, New York, and New Jersey, according to the Census Bureau, at a rate of $14,000-16,000 per student, which is $6,000 more than the national average for 2006-2007 school years. Proponents of spending more suggest that it should lead to higher educational attainment. However, in 2004 the Manhattan Institute evaluated all 50 states and Washington D.C. and concluded that for the money, New Jersey students significantly under-preformed. In fact, the Hoover Institute stated that it was one of the lowest performing states in its region.
Looking at the historic performance on the SAT and spending over the last 30 years, the same assumptions should apply to the entire student population, yet that’s not the case. From 1980 to 2007, the amount of spending per student has risen nearly fourfold to approximately $10,000. During that time, verbal scores of both females and males remained steady and math scores gained only 20 points.
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