Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Rate of Return on Education Spending

by Jonathan Leirer

We at CCAP have demonstrated that while having a more educated work force tends to help economies, spending more money on education tends to have little effect. Good Magazine, as part of their Transparency series, has created a nice infographic looking at state spending per student and high school graduation rates. Even though these figures are for high school graduation, they once again show that there does not seem to be a clear connection between spending and outcomes in education.

However, I would be remiss if I did not mention the statistical naivety of this graphic. Many factors come into play when analyzing graduation rates, with socioeconomic factors and parental (specifically maternal) education levels typically leading the pack. Still, while occasionally lacking sophistication, infographics and data visualization are great tools for relaying statistical and numerical information to a general audience, and this infographic is no exception.

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