Friday, August 21, 2009

University of Arkansas speaker's message won't please those desperate to pass a millage increase during a depression to build a new high school

August 28, 2009
Steven A. Peterson, Professor of Politics and Public Affairs, Pennsylvania State University-Harrisburg
Lecture Title: Building Construction Expenditures and Student Performance
Suggested Readings
Stephen A. Peterson. "Building Construction Expenditures and Student Performance: A Research Note." Prepared for Presentation at the University of Arkansas, August 28th, 2009.
Eric A. Hanushek "School Resources." Handbook of the Economics of Education, Vol. 2, 2006
Department of Education. "Impact of Inadequate School Facilities on Student Learning." Last updated: April 3, 2000.
Mark Schneider. "Do School Facilities Affect Academic Outcomes?" National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities, November 2002.
Glen I. Earthman. "School Facility Conditions and Student Academic Achievement." A Research Report prepared by UCLA's Institute for Democracry, Education, & Access, 2002.

Peterson's comments near end of his paper linked above:
"One lesson that I came away with from this and other research that I have done on
students’ achievement is that there really does not appear to be a single “magic bullet” that will
transform the system in terms of effectiveness.
Do the results reported here mean that school districts should not carry out building
construction projects—whether renovations or new construction? Obviously not. We do not
want our children studying and learning in unsafe conditions or in conditions that leave them in
considerable discomfort. So, building projects should be examined on their merits, as to what
makes the most sense for students and the district itself. However, one should not carry out large
scale construction on the belief that that will have a considerable impact on students’ academic
performance. The data here simply do not support that linkage. In other regression equations that
I developed, building construction had little impact on alternative measures of achievement (note
the lack of relationships in the second half of Table 1; even using multivariate analysis to double
check, I detected no effect of building construction on these other metrics of performance)."

Read it all and check Peterson's sources. His conclusions are those I hear from the best-educated people I know

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