Did public schools build economies, or did economies build public schools?


We find that public schools offered practically zero return education on the margin, yet they did enjoy significant political and financial support from local political elites, if they taught in the “right” language of instruction.

One thing that both progressives and libertarians agree upon are that social goals of education are woefully underappreciated and considered in the current school reform discussion. Both school choice and local, democratic control of schools are reactions to centralization resulting in “elites… [selecting] the ‘right’ language of instruction.”

I am inclined to agree with neither.

This entry was tagged as education economics research public goods nber

Apr 25, 2012

Downtown Improvement District

My favorite tax bill.

Mar 20, 2012

Providence needs a little innovation

Have you ever tried to access public information about Providence on the web? Due to the recent, and new, requirement that residents reapply for their homestead tax exemption in Providence, I decided to poke around the Providence webpage to see what kind of public information on property was available online ...

Nov 29, 2011

Contracting Technology in Education

The Special Education Information System in NYC is getting a lot of slack for failing to live up to the promise and cost. This stirs up some thoughts on government contracting and large IT projects from my experiences at the Rhode Island Department of Education.

Oct 06, 2011

School facilities— anachronistic, expensive, isolating, and all around bad public spaces?

I wanted to write a lot more about this, but I just don’t have the time.

This storyis about rezoning schools in downtown Manhattan which is struggling to meet the demands of emerging residential neighborhoods. Reading this story (and struggle) just brought up something I’ve thought about ...