Helping Texas Schools Do More With Less is the Goal of Education Productivity Forum

March 21, 2012

Event: The second annual Improving Productivity in Public Education forum will focus on how schools can achieve better results with fewer resources. The forum is sponsored by The University of Texas at Austin’s Institute for Public School Initiatives (IPSI) and the Institute for Productivity in Education (IPE).

Panelists include:

  • Marguerite Roza, senior scholar, University of Washington Center on Reinventing Public Education
  • Jim Shelton, assistant deputy secretary for innovation and improvement, U.S. Department of Education
  • Bob Swiggum, chief information officer, Georgia Department of Education
  • Heather Staker, senior research fellow, the Innosight Institute
  • Don McAdams, author and former president, Center for Reform of School Systems

When: March 28, 9 a.m-noon

Where: Thompson Conference Center (TCC) 1.110, 2405 Robert Dedman Dr.

Background: Against the backdrop of four school finance lawsuits that claim Texas' current system of funding schools is unconstitutional, a cross section of government, academic and civic leaders will convene to discuss ways to improve fiscal transparency and cost effectiveness in public education.

The forum will feature an interactive dialogue on increasing productivity and financial accountability in public education, with presentations focusing on the latest research, innovation, use of data, blended learning models and the challenges of implementing district-wide reforms. IPSI Executive Director Darvin Winick will host the forum along with IPE Chair and former University of Texas System Chair Charles Miller.

“The goal of the forum is to continue the growing national conversation about education productivity," says Winick. "Policymakers and school leaders are searching for ways to manage effectively in resource-challenged times, and Texas can take steps to implement best practices so we can innovate and lead.”

“We need to measure K-12 productivity,” says Miller. “To do that, we should unbundle school financial data — it’s too confusing now. Texas may know what we spend on public education, but we don’t really know what it actually costs. Offering policymakers and the public greater transparency about education spending will lead to more local control. Ultimately, we should develop a system that rewards productivity and allows the reallocation of resources at the campus level for the best possible use.”

IPSI aims to improve performance of students in pre-kindergarten through college by developing strategic partnerships with University of Texas institutions, community colleges, school districts and state agencies.

IPE strives to improve public education by promoting cost effectiveness and productivity, fostering research and public discussion, and recommending policy improvements.

Print out more information on the forum.

For more information, contact: Kay Randall, College of Education, 512 471 6033.

To view a linked PDF file in this article, you must first download the Acrobat Reader plug-in for your browser.