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.