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Making Money Matter: Financing America's Schools
sachusetts) consulting firm; the Expeditionary Learning program affiliated with Outward Bound; the Modern Red Schoolhouse, designed by the Hudson Institute; the National Alliance for Restructuring Education, which cooperates with schools (e.g., in Kentucky) to restructure their resources to meet higher academic standards; and Roots and Wings/Success for All, developed by Robert Slavin's team at Johns Hopkins University. Other well known designs include the Edison Project, the E.D. Hirsch Core Knowledge Curriculum, the Accelerated Schools model developed by Henry Levin at Stanford, Theodore Sizer's Coalition of Essential Schools, and the CMCD program (Consistency Management and Cooperative Discipline) now being disseminated in Texas, Chicago, and Norfolk, Virginia (Fashola and Slavin, 1998; Glennan, 1998; Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory, 1998; Stringfield et al., 1996).
Whole-school designs are constructed to elavate student achievement. They are also intended by their designers to be salable to local school districts. They can be "purchased" to be implemented. Usually the design teams insist that they be engaged to oversee the training necessary for a school district staff team to implement the design. Because, however, these design teams realize fully that the marketability of their models depends importantly on having a satisfactory price, they are sensitive to costs.
None of the above-listed designs can yet be said to be firmly established by research, in the sense that the achievement of students in schools following these models has been proven superior in replicated controlled empirical or experimental studies. However, many education policy makers are impressed with anecdotal evidence concerning the success of some or all of these programs, with some limited empirical data that tends to confirm it. These designs will become more formidable if research continues to accumulate regarding their effectiveness. The resources specified by each of these designs (with the exception of the National Alliance for Restructuring Education, which does not promote a single design as such, but tailors its recommendations to individual affiliated schools) could be priced, and the sum might be considered the cost, at the school level, of an adequate education. One complicating factor, though, may be that this approach does not yield a very precise definition of the cost of adequacy. One recent estimate of 1996–97 first-year costs of implementing New American Schools designs ranged from $82,600 to $354,000 per school of 500 students above the core costs of a principal and regular classroom teachers, or $165 to $708 per pupil (Odden and Busch, 1998). Moreover, cost estimates may turn out to be quite sensitive to local circumstances.
Making Adjustments for Student, School, and Geographic Characteristics
It has long been recognized that school districts face differences in input prices and differences in the educational needs of their students, both of which