A few quotes from an excellent editorial in the June 22, 2005 Wall Street Journal titled “Jayhawk Judgment.” The link is here, although you probably have to subscribe to read it. Articles on some of these topics have recently appeared on this website.
Kansas already spends a shade under $10,000 per student in the public schools — the most in the region and above the national average even though Kansas is a low cost-of-living state. Also ignored by the courts were the volumes of scientific evidence that the link between school spending and educational achievement is close to nonexistent. Perhaps one reason schools in Kansas aren’t as good as they might be is that the state ranks 47 out of 50 in education money that actually finds its way inside the classroom.
The travesty of all these court interventions is that they promulgate the fundamental logical fallacy that has long undermined the U.S. public education system: that we should measure performance by inputs, not outputs. Every other industry in America is obliged to cut costs and get more for less; in education, parents and kids keep getting less for more.
Describing the more than $1 billion in additional spending ordered by a judge in the Kansas City, Missouri school system:
The result of this deluge of money was further declines in test scores. In that case even the judge himself later admitted he had erred in thinking that more money would improve dismal schools.