The new Weighted Student Formula Yearbook 2009 from the Reason Foundation provides a simple framework for touting the successes of states and urban school districts that grant greater fiscal autonomy to schools. The report defines the Weighted Student Formula (WSF) reform extremely broadly, presenting a variety of reforms under the WSF umbrella. Accordingly, when the report concludes that WSF is successful and should be widely replicated, it is difficult to sort through the claims and recommendations. Moreover, the approach and recommendations lack critical inquiry, thought, or empirical analysis. Perhaps most disturbing is the fact that in a third of the specific districts presented in the report, the evidence of success provided predates the implementation of the reforms, and the Reason press release makes the outright claim that past improvements are somehow a function of yet-to-be-implemented reforms. While the report does provide some reasonable recommendations, they are overshadowed by others. Overall, the policy guidance provided by the Reason report is reckless and irresponsible.
Resources related to this item
Baker, B. D. (2009). NEPC Review: Weighted Student Formula Yearbook 2009. Boulder, CO: National Education Policy Center. Retrieved [date] from https://scholar.colorado.edu/nepc/316
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