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FCPS Ties for 4th in Maryland for Return on Educational Investment | Schools

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FCPS Ties for 4th in Maryland for Return on Educational Investment
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FCPS Ties for 4th in Maryland for Return on Educational Investment

Center for American Progress Ranks ROI of Schools across the Nation

Frederick, MD (January 26, 2011) – Frederick County Public Schools ranks in the top tier among Maryland’s public schools for return on investment (ROI).

            According to a recent “educational productivity” study of the nation’s major school districts conducted by the Center for American Progress, only three school districts in the state produce greater academic achievement relative to their educational spending.

            FCPS tied with Queen Anne’s County for 4th place with a state achievement index of 87. Howard County (90 points), Carroll County (89) and Worcester County (88) ranked slightly higher among Maryland districts.

            At $8,081, FCPS’ per-pupil spending was the lowest of the top-ranked Maryland school districts. The other districts ranged from $8,648 (Carroll) to $13,525 (Worcester), with first-place Howard at $11,439.

            The Center for American Progress describes its report as the “culmination of a yearlong effort to study the efficiency of the nation’s public education system.” The study applied the business model of productivity—“the benefit received in exchange for effort or money expended”—to calculate return on investment. Calculations considered factors outside a district’s control, such as students from poverty and cost of living.

            The Center’s Web site states that one of the evaluation’s main purposes is to “encourage…approaches that make it easier to create and sustain educational efficiencies.” However, it cautions against “unfettered market-based reforms, such as vouchers” and reduced spending, instead advocating for “real resources and real reform” of public education.

            The Center for American Progress acknowledges that the connection between spending and educational achievement is complicated, and that the “data does not capture everything that goes into creating an effective school system.”

            “Even so,” according to Dr. Linda Burgee, FCPS superintendent, “both the valuation process and the findings are thought provoking. The study definitely merits a closer look by school systems everywhere.”

            For more information, visit the Center’s interactive website: http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2011/01/educational_productivity/index.html.

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