The Locker Room

Fannie Flono: students aren't widgets...

Posted by Dr. Terry Stoops at 1:29 PM

Fannie Flono's column, "In children, investment returns take time," is typical Charlotte Observer fare.

School officials say the ROI [Return on Investment] is only an attempt to give parents more information. The information about per pupil expenditures and academic growth is valuable. But a number value isn't needed unless it will be used to provide less funding to "ineffective" schools based on those scores.

Officials said that's not the intent. Yet some school board members were latching on to ROI as a lever to tout underfunding of some schools, and overfunding of others - and to plug for a redistribution of resources.

That's wrongheaded, given the other factors that can affect those numbers. That's not to say that the school board, and the rest of us as taxpayers, should not want and urge efficient and effective use of our resources. We should. But children are not widgets. The return on investment in them can't be extracted easily or quickly.
Funny how lefties use the term "investment" so easily and quickly, but complain about those who earnestly attempt to measure (or better understand) it.

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