Based on interviews with state, district, and school officials, explores how performance pressures have changed resource allocation decisions. Examines reform goals and how Washington's finance system impedes efforts to link resources to student learning.
- Observation: Finance systems are antiquated, needlessly complicated, and do not support coherent instruction programs and allocation of resources needed to improve student performance.
- Observation: Student demographics, and the impact of mobility, poverty, and immigration, pose challenges to meeting performance standards.
- Observation: Political interests and union contracts influence resource decisions rather than research-based knowledge and effective resource use.
- Observation: Similar to other districts, the rural district made strategic efforts to increase teacher capacity and quality -- e.g. by investing in training to use student performance data to improve teaching and by improving human resource policies (supervision and evaluation).
- Observation: Administrators in the rural district described the most strain in their relationship with the teachers union compared with other districts and felt that issues around the contract were one of the major problems plaguing the district.