Hanushek and other podcast info

by Russ Roberts on July 24, 2006

in Podcast

In this week’s EconTalk, I talk with economist and education policy expert Rick Hanushek about the public school system in the United States, why it isn’t better and how to fix it. Real per pupil spending has more than tripled in since 1960, yet the impact on student test scores has been very disappointing. Rick points out that the obvious measures for improving performance—more educated teachers, more experienced teachers and smaller class size have had little or no impact on student performance. Hear him make the case for these findings and propose reforms that might actually work, here.

I’ve also posted the answer to the tourist puzzle here (comment 22).

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Mike July 25, 2006 at 8:42 am

Hi Russ,

I do not think the links are working properly.


Russ Roberts July 25, 2006 at 3:01 pm

They seem to be fine, now.

paul July 25, 2006 at 11:02 pm

a related post;
It all depends on who you’re!

Lauren Landsburg July 26, 2006 at 7:15 am

Hi, Mike.

At the time you tried the links yesterday morning, Econlib and EconTalk were both temporarily down because of technical problems with the T3 line.

We apologize for the inconvenience!

Downtime for the Library of Economics and Liberty (Econlib, including EconLog and EconTalk) has been pretty rare historically. We have had a nearly impeccable track record since our public release in 1999. You happened to hit us at one of those rare moments, when incoming access was down. We hope you will try again.

Trumpit July 27, 2006 at 7:23 pm

Rather than attempt a Soduko puzzle, which bore me, I prefer to read the NY Times obituary section. Today's list included 89 year-old C. Frederick Mosteller. He started Harvard's statistics department in 1957.

As mentioned in the obituary, Prof. Mosteller worked with Moynihan on studies looking at the impact of home life on childen's performance in school. They argued that raising families out of poverty would have a greater educational impact than pouring money directly into schools.

So, do you agree with the concept of transferring funds from the "overbloated" educational budget or from some other source to directly aid poor families? I don't think that Bush's tax cuts for the rich did the trick.

Also mentioned in the same tribute-filled obituary, in the 1980's, Dr. Mosteller was instrumental in persuading Tennessee to conduct a controlled study on the effect of classroom size. The study showed convincingly that smaller classes significantly helped children from poorer minority families.

Who is this "educational policy expert," Rick Hanushek? And why does he contradict the real information I gleened from today's Obits?

spencer July 28, 2006 at 4:58 pm

Education is one of the key economic sectors where we have no productivity growth. No one, public or private has been able to improve on the age-old methodology of one-on-one instruction with an upper limit of about 20 to 30 students per teacher. Until we are able to improve on this model real expenditures per pupil must rise in line with real standards of living to continue attracting teachers into the job.

Do you have evidence that private schools have developed some method of significantly improving the productivity of teachers?

thebizofknowledge September 25, 2006 at 12:29 pm

Russell, I was glad to see this issue addressed since, as an educator, I have for quite some time been concerned about the fact that the most popular "solution" to our educational dilemma is to throw more money at the problem, when, clearly, this hasn't helped.

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