Return on Educational Investment: A District-by-District Evaluation of U.S. Educational Productivity
Ulrich Boser
Center for American Progress
January 2011


This report is the culmination of a yearlong effort to study the efficiency of the nation’s public education system and includes the first-ever attempt to evaluate the productivity of almost every major school district in the country.  The project measures the academic achievement a school district produces relative to its educational spending, while controlling for factors outside a district’s control, such as cost of living and students in poverty. The study found that many school districts could boost student achievement without increasing spending if they used their money more productively, and that students from disadvantaged backgrounds are more likely to be enrolled in highly inefficient districts.

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