Illinois Policy Institute research cited in US Senate hearing on education

Illinois Policy Institute research cited in US Senate hearing on education

Illinois Policy Institute research was cited in a U.S Senate hearing on education spending to show more funding isn’t the solution for poor performance in public schools.

A U.S. Senate hearing highlighted Illinois Policy research to display the inverse relationship between student proficiency and education spending. Despite increased education spending in Chicago Public Schools, student proficiency has declined.

U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-LA, used institute research to make a point during a hearing by the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.

“I should also say I ask unanimous consent to enter into the record a report from Illinois Policy showing that Chicago Public School spending has increased 97% while student achievement has dropped by 63% in reading and 78% in math,” Cassidy said.

Before assuming more money for schools is the solution to dismal proficiency rates, it’s worth exploring other ways to fix the gap between where students are and where they need to be.

“How do we begin to restore the trust when folks say we need to spend more money but we are seeing more money being spent and yet scores are falling?” Cassidy added.

The hearing, chaired by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, was rife with language about underfunded schools and underpaid teachers. But testimony from Robert Pondiscio, senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, highlighted the biggest factors making teaching difficult, which don’t change with higher pay.

Poor preparation for new teachers, classroom disorder, inadequate curriculum and asking teachers to tackle social and emotional issues with their students are the major causes of teacher burnout, according to Pondiscio. Higher wages don’t make the school day longer or instruction more effective.

The hearing took place while the Chicago Teachers Union’s bargaining sessions regarding their next contract are underway, including a list of demands far beyond higher wages.

Want more? Get stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.

Thank you, we'll keep you informed!