in defining adequate financing as sufficient resources - Funding series 3


Models for Adequate Spending Levels
Since the 1983 publication of A Nation at Risk (Education
Commission of the States, 1983), there has been a growing recognition by policy analysts, policy makers, and the courts
that an equal distribution of resources will not close the
achievement gaps among ethnic and socioeconomic groups.
This is particularly true if the amount of resources distributed
equitably is not sufficient to provide the instructional
resources required to eliminate those gaps. Thus, consideration of equity issues increasingly has been approached from
the perspective of adequacy (King, Swanson, & Sweetland,

Other researchers have elaborated by blending sufficiency with desired outcomes in defining adequate financing
as sufficient resources to provide students with the opportunity to achieve adequately defined levels of knowledge and
skills (Guthrie & Rothstien, 2001).
There are four primary models used to determine adequate educational spending levels, including the Professional
Judgment Model, the Successful Schools Model, the
Advanced Statistical Model, and the Evidence-Based
Approach Model (King et al., 2005). These four models can
provide policy makers options for considerations that utilize
measurable means to better address a true understanding of
adequate resources.
The Professional Judgment Model brings a group of educators together to define the components needed to establish
a prototype school that, in their opinion, will have enough
resources to enable a specified percentage of students to
meet established standards (King et al., 2005). The cost of
those resources is then estimated to ascertain an adequate
level of funding.

 The professional judgment model is the
only method that has been fully implemented by a state.
Wyoming conducted a study using this method and, as a
result, the legislature approved a plan that cost US$6,050 per
student each year (Odden, 2003). The main advantage of this
approach is that spending levels for adequacy can be estimated in the absence of a sophisticated student assessment
system. It is easy to explain to the public, and the resulting
estimates are based on the judgments of professional educators with experience in educating students.
The Successful Schools Model looks at all schools in the
state and identifies the ones that are meeting the stateapproved standards. The amount of money these schools are
spending becomes the adequate funding level for the state
(Picus & Blair, 2004). However, flaws have been identified
in this model. 

For example, the model bases its recommendations on only a few educational standards and fails to account
for many of the other important functions of a good education (Picus & Blair, 2004). According to Odden (2003),
because atypical districts are usually eliminated when using
this approach, the result is often based on average-sized nonmetropolitan districts that are demographically homogeneous and spend below the state average. The successful
school district approach does not specify a way to make
adjustments for characteristics of individual districts, leading
to potential disagreements over how to meet the needs of
many students, especially those with high needs.
The Advanced Statistical Model represents the most technically complex model. This approach attempts to estimate
how much money would be needed to attain a certain level of
student performance, while controlling for the characteristics
of the district and its students. 

A number of important insights
about relationships between inputs and outputs may be
gleaned from cost function analyses. Many of these insights
can be used to inform policy and help determine the magnitude of adjustments for students and district characteristics
(Picus & Blair, 2004). 

Proponents believe that with enough
information on education expenditures and student characteristics, statistical techniques can determine the funding
needed to meet education standards (Smith & Pettersen,
2002). The primary concern with this model is its complexity; lawmakers and the public in general are very suspicious
of complex models and may mistrust the final calculations
(Picus & Blair, 2004).
The final method used to determine “adequate” funding is
the evidence-based approach. This model relies on current
educational research to identify resources needed for a prototypical school to meet the state’s student performance standards (Picus & Blair, 2004). Once identified, those
specifications are subject to the “professional judgment” of
officials in the state to validate the research-based recommendations. These costs are then estimated and applied to
actual schools in the state. One drawback is the fact that
research-based models will not always work in absolutely
every situation (Picus, 2000).

Spending for Improvement in Student
In considering the aforementioned funding models, many
states, including Alabama, have yet to make the change to
funding with an emphasis on student performance. Most
states who adopted formulas similar to the foundation program formula used in Alabama have failed to recognize that
the amount of money needed to educate students in one district may not be the amount needed to educate other students
in a different district (Reschovsky & Imazeki, 2000).
Alabama, however, has invested in three programs designed
to improve student achievement in three critical areas. 

include the Alabama Reading Initiative (ARI), the Alabama
Math, Science, and Technology Initiative (AMSTI) and the
Alabama Connecting Classrooms Educators and Students
Statewide (ACCESS) in advanced secondary classes.
Now that states have set ambitious performance goals for
their students and the federal No Child Left Behind Act of
2001 has demanded that all children achieve those standards
in reading and mathematics by 2013-2014, the push is to link
education spending to academic results (Olson, 2005). While
Alabama has yet to define a true meaning of an “adequate”
education, it has chosen to direct specific allocations focused
on improving the academic results of students. In 1998,

 the state launched a study of 16 schools participating in the ARI
using US$1.5 million dollars from corporate donations to
fund the project. The initiative was targeted to strengthen
reading instruction in the early grades, continuously expanding all students’ reading power and comprehension, and
intervening effectively with struggling readers.
AMSTI provides three basic services to schools in an
effort to boost hands-on learning experiences in math and
science. Central to its success is a strong recurring professional development model that involves all teachers in
Grades K-8 with extensive professional development training.

 In addition, teachers are supported throughout the year
with prepackaged manipulative kits that allow each class to
engage in hands-on learning experiences.
The ACCESS represents a statewide initiative that focused
on bringing true equity in instructional opportunities to all
Alabama high school students. It provides a blended approach
of online and interactive learning experiences through a
statewide distance learning effort. When fully implemented, 

all 440 Alabama high schools will be connected; each will
have the have the ability to offer students more rigorous and
advanced learning opportunities. This initiative began in
2006 with 24 pilot sites and an appropriation of US$10 million dollars, and has been granted increased state funding
each year to its current level of US$25 million dollars for
FY2009 (Alabama Department of Education Legislative
Budget Request, FY 2008-2009). 

These efforts have served to focus resources on improving student learning and have produced significant academic
gains statewide. The National Assessment of Educational
Progress (NAEP), which was released in September 2007,
showed Alabama public schools made more improvement in
fourth-grade reading than any other state in the nation. The
NAEP report showed a significant gain of eight points in
fourth-grade reading for Alabama students—almost triple
the national average in gains. In 2005, the scaled score was
208, and in 2007 it increased to 216. Today, Alabama is only
four scale score points away from the national average (220)
in fourth-grade reading (The Nation’s Report Card: NAEP, 

In addition, NAEP data show Alabama posted gains in
fourth-grade mathematics and in eighth-grade mathematics.
In 2005, fourth graders in Alabama scored 225 points, and in
2007 the score rose to 229. While the national average
improved by two points, Alabama’s score showed a fourpoint gain. The percentage of students who performed at or
above the NAEP proficiency level was 26% in 2007, up from
21% in 2005. Alabama’s eighth graders improved NAEP
mathematics score from 262 in 2005 to 266 in 2007 (The
Nation’s Report Card: NAEP, These focused appropriations have begun to move
Alabama up in the nationally ranked means of measuring
student achievement.
This study looks at four constructs of educational funding
perspectives: (a) equity and adequacy, (b) personal values,
(c) political ideology, and (d) social influence. It is important
to understand how such perspectives are formed.

Media center total solutions of content and raw wiki information source - The hulk library of knowledge world wide - sound library - Books library

bitcoin , reads , books , cord blood , attorneys , lawyers , domestic , local services , offshore companies , offshore lawyers , beyond the seas business , laws , enactions , jungle , ameriican eagle , america business , gas, gasoline , petrol , burn , films , new movies , stars , hollywood , stationary , offices , federal law , states divisions

Previous Post Next Post

Contact Form