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Pseudo-Science and a Sound Basic Education: Voodoo Statistics in New York

Eric A. Hanushek
Published Date: 
Fall 2005
Education Next

Most people who read the headlines last February were stunned to learn that New York City schools were being shortchanged by $5.6 billion per year, or more than $5,000 per student. The 43 percent court-ordered budget increase, from around $13 billion in operating expenditures to something approaching $19 billion (not including some $9 billion over five years for building improvements), is the largest school finance “adequacy” judgment ever awarded. Of course, most people do not have a good grasp on either the economics or the performance of New York City schools. If they did, they would be even more stunned by the declared shortfall.