No. 68 Making Schools Work: Spending and Student Achievement

Published September 1, 1995

A review of the history of education spending and student achievement in the United States between 1890 and 1990 reveals the following trends and lessons:

1. Real spending on public education in the U.S. is rising rapidly.

2. Student achievement is either flat or falling.

3. Three problems largely explain the inefficiency of public education today.

4. Policy implications: Focus on greater efficiency, not higher spending.