84 Matching Annotations
  1. Nov 2018
    1. other works

      I'll try to link related works here:

      1. "A Comprehensive Framework For Evaluating Educational Vouchers" by Henry Levin.
      2. "The common in higher education: a conceptual approach" by Krystian Szadkowski
    2. DeAngelis basically calls for a total revolution in how education is funded and delivered in the USA based on a smattering of shaky results drawn from less than 20 studies using different methodologies on limited populations in contexts ranging from urban Washington DC to Bogota, Columbia to Delhi and Andhra Pradesh, India.

      DeAngelis uses the "fallacy of the inverse" to make his argument, which takes this form: "If some students who do X have good outcomes, then every student who does not do X will have bad outcomes." Read more in my annotation on DeAngelis's article.

    1. A Comprehensive Framework For Evaluating Educational Vouchers

      A self-described nonpartisan framework for evaluating school voucher programs.

    2. (1) Freedom to Choose; (2) Productive Efficiency; (3)Equity; and (4) Social Cohesion

      The four dimensions of evaluation for education.

    3. Balancing individual choice for addressing childrearingpreferences with a common educational experience that will promote equity and socialcohesion has always been a major challenge for the educational system. To a large extentthese goals are in conflict and place the school system under continual tension

      Observation that public education exists in an ongoing (and unresolvable?) tension between providing for individual and social needs.

    4. it is importantto address the role of the schools in a democratic society characterized by considerableethnic, racial, regional, and socioeconomic diversity such as the United States

      on the unique situation of the USA

    1. This article provides a map of the three-element conceptual set of the common (the common good, the commons, and the common) in reference to higher education.

      Compare to a facile and polemic post on K12 education as a public good, by Cato Instittute's Corey DeAngelis.

    1. Because students were not randomly assigned to the MPCP or the public school comparison group, we cannot assume causality regarding the relationship between the voucher program and crime and must, instead, infer causality.

      causality inferred

    1. a specific good or service is strongest for a good or service deemed to be a “public good.”

      Based on my understanding of public goods, I’m thinking most or all are not provided by government. A public good might be protected or endangered by government policy, but provided by it? There are examples like lighthouses, but most services provided by government are excludable and rivalrous. I agree education is not a classic public good.

    2. By Corey A. DeAngelis

      You can learn more about Corey from his linked Cato Institute bio and list of publications, at The Heartland Institute, and at GMU's Mercatus Institute. You can see a record of Corey's citations on Google Scholar. Visit Corey on Twitter, where his account has a banner picture of Milton Friedman, and on LinkedIn. You might also find Corey's take on Trump's 2018 State of the Union address and his 28 Aug 2018 EdChoice interview interesting.

    3. In order to reduce the externalities associated with government schooling, we should allow private schools to continue their specialized approaches by reducing the quantity and intensity of regulations linked to private school choice program funding.

      Another policy leap: no evidence has been presented that supports the idea of regulation increasing "the externalities associated with government schooling".

    4. Market entry and competitive pressures could improve the diversity and quality of educational options available to children while reducing average educational costs.

      The important word here is "could". Is there evidence that market entry leads to any of these outcomes?

    5. Specifically, states should pass legislation to enact universally accessible Education Savings Accounts (ESAs) to allow families to customize their children’s educational experiences.

      Note that there is a jump here from vouchers to ESAs that is nowhere substantiated in any of the previous argument or data.

    6. Since government schooling in the United States results in a net negative externality relative to private schools of choice, we should not subsidize government schooling based on the economic argument that it is a merit good.

      Setting aside that this article is riven with logical leaps and unconvincing data, the bigger question is whether a purely economic evaluation of schooling mechanisms is enough to make a policy recommendations of such magnitude.

    7. Since schooling fails both the nonrivalry and nonexcludability conditions, there is no strong argument for government operation of schooling on the basis of the service being a public good.

      As the author himself argued that people are just mispeaking when they say education is a public good, we can just ignore this conclusion as a strawman.

    8. However, these estimates should be treated with caution

      No, these estimates should be treated with caution because they equal "about half of the U.S. GDP in 2016".

    9. The only quasi-experimental study linking private school choice to crime finds that private schools reduce the likelihood that male students will commit felonies by 4 percentage points in Milwaukee.

      Near as I can tell, this study is just as likely to suggest that students that complete school are less likely to commit crimes than students that don't. The private school choice connection is a stretch.

    10. I exclude the two most costly types of crime — rape and murder — from this calculation in order to provide a more conservative estimate.

      So then included are the "less costly" types of crime, including crimes more often prosecuted against people of color.

    11. it is infeasible to quantify the effects of tolerance, political participation, and racial segregation on society overall

      Here the author admits that it is hard to quantify educational benefits.

    12. over the course of 13 years of k-12 schooling

      Do the numbers being used here actually reflect the costs of the full 13 years of K-12 schooling? It seemed like most of the data was just for a few grades here and there.

    13. Hanushek estimates that a one-standard-deviation increase in student cognitive ability leads to a 13 percent increase in lifetime earnings.

      I can't read this paper behind its paywall, but note that here we are grabbing a one-standard deviation measure from a study on teacher effectiveness and using it to extrapolate individual lifetime earnings based on standard deviations in math score tests from one meta-analysis of a a small collection of studies on voucher-based educations.

    14. Overall, Shakeel, Anderson, and Wolf find that private school choice programs increase reading scores by 4 percent of a standard deviation and math scores by 7 percent of a standard deviation.

      Except that the results from this study are pretty inconclusive overall and especially for the USA, so here the author is applying a global result to a USA context.

    15. Data and Analysis

      Here we go: now the author will extrapolate the spurious conclusions from above to the entire public school population.

    16. the preponderance of the scientific evidence suggests that government schools produce socially less-desirable outcomes than do private schools of choice

      Where "the preponderance of evidence" means the very small number of methodologically and statistically unconvincing studies included here that focus on private schools of choice.

    17. Table 1: Government-schooling externalities and their signs

      Now that I've dug deeper, I see how unsubstantiated this table is. The primary issue is that very limited and methodologically imperfect studies that purport to show positive externalities for voucher-based choice programs are flipped to suggest that "government schooling" has negative externalities.

      Here's an analogous argument: Because some small studies of people that ate carrots with lunch shows that they had less indigestion than control groups that didn't eat carrots with lunch, all lunches without carrots cause indigestion.

      Also, if one explores the references, it turns out most of them are by one or more of the same set of authors.

    18. As shown in a review of 11 experimental and quasi-experimental studies, DeAngelis finds that private school choice programs in the United States increase these types of civic outcomes.

      Just to be clear here, the author is now talking about himself in the third person.

    19. This savings happens for two main reasons: (1) school voucher laws usually mandate that the voucher amount must be a fraction of the total per pupil expenditure in traditional public schools; and (2) private school tuition fees are often below the state-mandated maximum voucher funding amount.

      Based on this, the savings would be to the government though, right, not the individual taxpayer/voucher user? So the level of taxation is the same, but thanks to vouchers, the government would need to spend less on education?

    20. all taxed funds are a negative externality if taxed individuals do not consent to the transaction

      Again, the view that taxes are inherently coercive.

    21. Educated Populace

      The upshot of this section is there are no clear education advantages to vouchers in the USA.

    22. the only difference between treatment and control groups is that one group received access to a private school choice program

      It turns out the story is a bit more complicated that the author suggests here. The meta-analysis that these conclusions apparently rest on are not compelling for the USA context and the meta-analysis itself is riddled with questionable methodologies and conclusions.

    23. A meta-analytic and systematic review of 19 experimental voucher studies around the world

      I read this article, and found it to be even less supportive of the conclusions drawn here than in the dismal summary below.

    24. a hard-working individual

      Would someone who skated through medical school provide the same social/economic benefit?

    25. better-educated citizens may produce high-quality goods and services that benefit the rest of society

      OK, this at least seems like a social benefit a real economist might include.

    26. Society benefits from a better-educated populace because individuals are more likely to interact with people who could teach them something new.

      Wait, what? This is the first, primary social benefit of education?

    27. The three externalities that I examine are (1) an educated populace, (2) taxpayer costs, and (3) social cohesion.

      What happened to lowered crime and more informed voting? It will be interesting to see how an educated populace and social cohesion are measured.

    28. random lotteries

      exclusion by chance?

    29. they could take those same funds to schools of their choosing

      They could take those funds to other schools, but would they? Maybe the analogy with immunization would be better.

    30. a realistic counterfactual: a private school of choice that could accept the public school’s per pupil funding amount as full payment for tuition and fees

      We shall also see if there is evidence of private schooling that can increase education (rather than just schooling) more efficiently than public schooling.

    31. if the traditional public schooling system is reducing overall levels of education, or producing education very inefficiently

      Two conclusions that the author has set out two prove.

    32. Pigouvian subsidy

      One feels we are getting close to the author's reasoning about why government should support education at all.

    33. but for which I don’t earn a market income

      There are more possible positive externalities from education than blog posts that aren't produced via market incomes, decreases in crime, and informed voting.

    34. I will be able to command a higher salary in the future, and I will feel good about being an educated citizen

      two of the possible individual benefits that might be derived from an education

    35. as an economist would say

      maybe "as some economists would say" given that there is more than one definition of merit goods.

    36. Fortunately, schools will never suffer from a true free-rider problem because they are not true public goods. That is precisely why private schools and tutoring services operate effectively today without government operating or funding them.

      Sidenote: because it's easy to exclude houses from firefighting, no one can take advantage of firefighters without paying, that's why there is a healthy market in private firefighting.

    37. If someone does not pay me to educate the student, I can simply deny the student services.

      If someone does not pay "me" [sic] to fight a fire at their house, I can simply let their house burn.

    38. because it is not difficult to exclude a person from a school — or any other type of institution with walls — schooling fails the nonexcludability condition

      because it is easy to not fight a fire at one house and just prevent the fire from spreading

    39. Because of this, schooling fails the nonrivalrous part of the definition

      therefore, firefighting is rivalrous (and should not be provided by government)

    40. if students are added to a given classroom, the teacher is less able to tailor the educational approach to each child, which could reduce the average amount of personalized education received by each student

      if firefighters must fight fires at every house, they are less able to perfect firefighting at any one house

    41. If one student occupies a seat in a classroom, another child is prevented from sitting in the same seat.

      If the firefighters are fighting fire at one house, they can not fight fire at another house.

    42. If schooling were indeed a public good, there would perhaps be a stronger economic argument for government funding and operation of schools.

      Synopsis of the argument so far: People mistakenly call public schooling a public good when they really mean it is good for the public. But nevertheless, we have proven public schooling is not a public good. We assert without evidence that government funding should focus on public goods. Therefore there is no reason for government to fund public schooling.

    43. A radio station can be thought of as a true public good.

      Hm. Not the example I would have reached for. The radio spectrum might be a better example. One could easily broadcast an excludable radio program encrypted that only people who had paid for a key could decrypt and listen to.

    44. the market avoids the potential free-rider problem with radio stations by using advertisements as a funding source

      The UK has used a different system to support broadcast (receiver licensing) and public broadcasting in the USA uses yet another support mechanism, philanthropy.

    45. the free-rider problem could be eliminated if all members of society were forced to pay for the service indirectly through taxes

      Again, the idea that taxes are coercion rather than say, a common interest contract.

    46. The economic argument for government using coercion to fund

      This seems like a bit of a jump: all taxation is coercion.

    47. it is important for the current study to examine the externalities of the actual policy in place in the United States

      Agree: focus on reality.

    48. And, of course, schooling and education are not one and the same.

      Is anyone arguing that schooling is the only mechanism for education? Another strawman?

    49. Within seven decades, every state had followed suit; Mississippi was the last state to pass a compulsory schooling attendance law in 1918.

      Is there any scholarship about relative social effects during this fairly long (70-year) transition period?

    50. the United States should instead fund education directly—rather than schooling

      This is a somewhat buried, but key argument in this work: that schooling and education are not equivalent and that public schooling is not an effective mechanism for education.

    51. When people, including prominent education scholars, say that schooling is a public good, I believe they mean that schooling is “good for the public.”

      Should the article stop here? Is the main point then that there is just a confusion in terms and folks are mistakenly saying school is a public good when they just mean it's good for the public?

    52. For example, someone who pursues 10 college degrees may achieve a well-rounded and advanced education without contributing much to other individuals in society.

      Strawman argument: who pursues 10 college degrees?

    53. (1) the U.S. government should not operate schools at the local, state, or federal level on the basis of schooling’s being a public good;

      Seems like a strawman recommendation as the author himself claims that folks are misspeaking when they talk about public education as a public good.

    54. an original contribution to the literature

      a bold statement

    55. In order to place public schooling into one of the remaining two categories

      What I'd like to see addressed first is why it is helpful to categorize public schooling as one of these (or maybe any) specific economic good. What is the value of this framing overall?

    56. Public schooling fails both conditions specified in the standard economic definition of a public good.

      Agree. So why should we even be debating it? According to the author, even the folks who say "education is a public good" meant something else, so let's move on.

    57. demerit good
    58. merit good
    59. public good
    60. Is Public Schooling a Public Good?

      Supposedly the central question of this work, but very shortly, the author holds that what people mean when they say "public schooling is a public good" is really just "public schooling is for the public good" and so one is left wondering if a different consideration of that question might be more valuable.

    1. Marty Lueken interviews Corey DeAngelis about what brought him to the school choice movement and what research is next for him

      An interview with Corey DeAngelis where he talks about what attracted him about school choice, his research, and how he thinks about talking with others about his views.

    2. Even in the United States, 17 evaluations that are experimental, the majority are positive effects on test scores. But to be honest, even if they were almost all negative, which they’re not, I still don’t think we should use that information alone to prevent people from making decisions for their kids’ educations.

      My reading of the data Corey relies on to make this argument is not so clear-cut. Meanwhile, he wants it all ways: people should rely on evidence, people should not use test score evidence to make educational decisions.

    3. Because as much as I hate it, hate to say, is there are some people out there that just don’t care about the evidence.

      After looking at the evidence Corey relies on to make his case in Is Public Schooling a Public Good? An Analysis of Schooling Externalities, I find I care about the evidence, but don't find it compelling.

    1. Public funding could be a proxy for voucher amount, as publicly-funded vouchers tend to be of significantly greater value than privately-funded ones.

      OMG, so say it. Giving people more funding for education has a bigger effect than giving less.

    2. In addition, the PACES programwas distinctivein providingindividual student incentives for academic achievement.

      Why is this not the policy recommendation of the study?

    3. It could be that there is a much larger gap in the quality of public and private schools in Colombia (and other countries, for that matter) than in the US (Angrist et al. 2006).

      Therefore public schools in the USA are not significantly different than privates?

    4. In summary, these results indicate positive effects of school vouchers that vary by subject (math or reading), location (US v. non-US), and funding type (public or private). Generally, the impacts of private school vouchers are larger for reading than for math. Impacts tend to belarger for programs outside the US relative to those within the US. Impacts also generally are larger for publicly-fundedprograms relative to privately-funded programs.

      I'm underwhelmed by the story the conclusions tell. Are most metaanalyses so unable to demonstrate credible results?

    5. The overall results so far indicate that school vouchers havepositive effects in both reading and math, but that these impactsare largest in programs outside of the US.

      So results here are not applicable to the USA context.

    6. The US programs, overall, had a TOT effect that was not statistically different from zero

      Wait, again USA effects were basically zero.

    7. we see that the US programs had an overall effect that was barely a null effect,

      Wait, USA results in reading were barely null?

    8. As some studies did not report their findings in detail, we made necessary assumptions to derive accurate sample sizes for the treatment and control groups.

      Wait, what? Assumptions?

    9. In the U.S. voucher programs inour meta-analysis, students who lost the voucher lotteries often found other ways to access school choices

      Wait, what? The control group managed to participate in the same experience as the other group?

    10. The counterfactual condition for control group students varied across the programs.

      Given this complexity, it may be hard to explain why any of the "control group" students experienced lower educational outcomes.

    11. Fortunately, much of the research on school vouchers in the U.S., and some of the evaluations abroad, has taken the form of random assignment experiments.

      Note: random assignments within the population that has already self-selected to participate in voucher systems, so possibly a measure of that subpopulation.

    1. President Trump

      The start of Corey DeAngelis's reactions to Trump's 2018 State of the Union address.

    2. what would be the point of turning private schools into the same types of institutions that are failing these children in the first place?

      This seems to presume that public funding is the reason public education is "failing".