Education: Rising cost vs. falling enrolment

From Frank Gue, Burlington:

For a small patch of 26 schools in Burlington I once formed a Criterion of Performance by dividing per-school EQAO results by per-school cost per pupil. This can reasonably be termed “Value per Dollar”.

There was a marked difference school-to-school. Since the schools all were in a nearly identical socio-economic stratum with very few ethnic or other confounding factors, I have (somewhat arbitrarily and subjectively, I admit), assigned the differences to school management, despite the fact that a principal has limited control over either cost or curriculum.

School reformers should ask this question, along with the inevitable mandatory question (seldom if ever asked by educators), i.e. “Why the difference? Can we learn from one another?”

Curiously, when I tried to do an update, the District 6 administration claimed that cost per school is not available and never was. The former is perhaps true, I wouldn’t know: but the latter emphatically is not true, because I have the cost figures on file from 2004. This demonstrates the furious opposition of many in Education to being measured in any way. As declared firmly and publicly by one Burlington Supt. of Instruction, “WE WILL NOT MAKE COMPARISONS!!!”

This illustrates how far this educator was from the real world; because EVERY improvement begins with a comparison.

Frank Gue, B.Sc., MBA, P.Eng.,
2252 Joyce St.,
Burlington, ON L7R 2B5
905 634 9538


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