Can money buy high-quality education? Studies find only a weak relationship between public school funding and educational outcomes. In The Money Myth, W. Norton Grubb proposes a powerful paradigm shift in the way we think about why some schools thrive and others fail. The greatest inequalities in America's schools lie in factors other than fiscal support. Fundamental differences in resources other than money - for example, in leadership, instruction, and tracking policies - explain the deepening divide in the success of our nation's schoolchildren.
The Money Myth establishes several principles for a bold new approach to education reform. Drawing on a national longitudinal dataset collected over 12 years, Grubb makes a crucial distinction between simple resources and those compound, complex, and abstract resources that cannot be readily bought. Money can buy simple resources - such as higher teacher salaries and smaller class sizes - but these resources are actually some of the weakest predictors of educational outcomes. On the other hand, complex resources pertaining to school practices are astonishingly strong predictors of success. Grubb finds that tracking policies have the most profound and consistent impact on student outcomes over time.
Schools often relegate low-performing students - particularly minorities - to vocational, remedial, and special education tracks. So even in well-funded schools, resources may never reach the students who need them most. Grubb also finds that innovation in the classroom has a critical impact on student success. Here, too, America's schools are stratified. Teachers in underperforming schools tend to devote significant amounts of time to administration and discipline, while instructors in highly ranked schools dedicate the bulk of their time to engaged learning using varied pedagogical approaches.
Effective schools distribute leadership among many instructors and administrators, ... Download and start listening now!