TED Conversations

Tom McLaughlin

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Apply ROI analysis to find out what's working and what's not

SHORT VERSION: We should use the return on invested capital model to assess just why, despite massive spending increases, our K12 educational results are so dreadful.

LONG VERSION: Given that the US spends far more per pupil and has far less to show for it than any advanced nation; that spending has increased sharply over the same period of time that scores have fallen; that relatively little education spending in the US actually reaches the classroom-- given the above, it seems the case that the marginal dollar spent on education in the US is generating little or even negative returns.

At the margin-- that is, not core spending on basic facilities and current salary levels, but new or added spending-- which investments yield the greatest increase in educational results?

How can we leverage one-to-many distance learning and empower private, nonprofit educational providers to supplement in areas-- especially science instruction-- where our public teachers lack the knowledge and teaching expertise to actually deliver first-rate instruction?

How do we ensure parental involvement and concern for the 40-50% of US households with school-age children that seems to care little about school achievement and that is, through its neglect, causing America's underclass to swell to the point where our democratic social model is threatened?

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