Special Report
Education

Adequacy Studies: Interpretation

January 04, 2005 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

See Also

Return to the table, “Adequacy Studies.”

This table is not a comprehensive list of all adequacy studies conducted across the 50 states. Studies not listed generally only included school-level costs, were not statewide, or included only certain types of districts. Other studies not included were too old, or original reports were not available.

METHOD: In successful-schools studies, researchers select a group of schools or districts meeting a certain level of achievement, and then use the average expenditures of those schools as the basis for an adequate amount. A modified successful-schools study typically involves some measure of efficient spending for the schools or districts chosen. Professional-judgment studies gather a group of educators to develop an education program that will allow students to reach a certain level of achievement. The panel then determines the resources needed to implement that program. The evidence-based approach is based on a “proven effective” comprehensive school reform model (a significant point of debate), or a combination of research-based strategies, and determines the cost of an adequate education by calculating the cost of implementing those programs or strategies. The cost-function method uses a statistical analysis to determine the average cost associated with a certain desired level of student achievement, based on a district with average student characteristics.

COST TYPE: Base costs from the studies listed represent the estimated cost of resources required for the basic education program of prototype schools, assuming no additional accommodations for special student needs. Low costs represent the average expenditures of districts with low incidence of student demographics commonly associated with lower student achievement (e.g., the cost of outcomes in low-need districts). State mean costs represent the statewide average cost of educating students. Average district costs represent the cost of achieving adequate student outcomes in a district of average characteristics.

BASIC COST ESTIMATES: Basic cost estimates must be interpreted carefully. Because the achievement standards, methods, and assumptions of student demographics vary greatly across the different studies listed, these estimates are not directly comparable. Also, it is important to note that adequacy studies typically provide a complex listing of several estimates for the cost of an adequate education. The basic cost estimates listed here are just one estimate chosen from these studies. In general, they are the base costs of a large K-12 district. Basic cost estimates were adjusted to reflect 2004 dollars using the Employment Cost Index (ECI) of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

ADJUSTED COST ESTIMATES: Costs were adjusted for regional variations in price, using state average prices (weighted by district enrollment) generated from the NCES Geographic Cost of Education Index.

Events

Recruitment & Retention Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Chronic Teacher Shortage: Where Do We Go From Here?  
Join Peter DeWitt, Michael Fullan, and guests for expert insights into finding solutions for the teacher shortage.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Science Webinar
Close the Gender Gap: Getting Girls Excited about STEM
Join female STEM leaders as they discuss the importance of early cheerleaders, real life role models, and female networks of support.
Content provided by Logitech
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Achievement Webinar
Mission Possible: Saving Time While Improving Student Outcomes
Learn how district leaders are maximizing instructional time and finding the best resources for student success through their MTSS framework.
Content provided by Panorama Education

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: January 18, 2023
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Letter to the Editor EdWeek's Most-Read Letters of 2022
Here are this year’s top five Letters to the Editor.
1 min read
Education Week opinion letters submissions
Gwen Keraval for Education Week
Education In Their Own Words Withstanding Trauma, Leading With Honesty, and More: The Education Stories That Stuck With Us
Our journalists highlight why stories on the impact of trauma on schooling and the fallout of the political discourse on race matter to the field.
4 min read
Kladys Castellón prays during a vigil for the victims of a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday, May 24, 2022.
Kladys Castellón prays during a vigil for the victims of a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School.
Billy Calzada/The San Antonio Express-News via AP
Education In Their Own Words Masking, Miscarriages, and Mental Health: The Education Stories That Stuck With Us
Our reporters share the stories they wrote that rose above the fray—and why.
5 min read
Crystal Curtis and her son, Jordan Curtis, outside their home in Plano, Texas. Crystal, a healthcare professional whose son attends school in Plano talks about the challenges of ensuring quality schooling, her discomfort with the state and district’s rollback of mandatory masking, and the complications of raising a Black child in a suburban district as policies shift.
Crystal Curtis and her son, Jordan Curtis, outside their home in Plano, Texas. Crystal, a healthcare professional whose son attends school in Plano talks about the challenges of ensuring quality schooling, her discomfort with the state and district’s rollback of mandatory masking, and the complications of raising a Black child in a suburban district as policies shift.
Allison V. Smith for Education Week