There was a lot said, but I will start by saying that we went away with absolutely no action plan, except that we should write to the governor and corral our state senators. I'll start with the word from the two state reps.
Wakelyn pointed out that since 2003, students in all states have taken the NAEP, a national test of basic academics, so that we have some data across time. Over the decade since the test was instituted, education spending in NYS has increased by 74%, but achievement has slipped. The taxpayers, says Wakelyn, want the government to be more effective. We should be more like Massachusetts, which has far better results. Although we spend an average of $18K per student, even southern poor schools outperform ours.
Wakelyn wants schools to consider per-student costs of everything we buy, from busing to AP courses. What makes sense to keep?
Questioners asked Wakelyn about mandates in other states. He suggested that we start assessing unit costs (per pupil costs) of mandates and letting the governor's office know. Questioners pointed out that upstate schools spend a good deal less than $18K per student. What if we included all districts in a statewide health plan? (That's one of Paul's brainstorms.) Should the state take over all contracts so that districts no longer compete?