I’m a touch embarrassed to discover that I’ve not yet reviewed Schoolhouses, Courthouses, and Statehouses, the great book by Eric Hanushek and Alfred Lindseth about policy and politics of school reform. I highly recommend the book to anyone with ideas about putting more money into the schools. I even more highly recommend the book to policy-advocates in any field, as a much needed cautionary tale about the efficacy of good intentions.
In brief, Hanushek and Lindseth trace out the results of a number of court ordered school reform efforts, particularly where courts ordered major increases in educational spending. The usual result seems to have been much more spending, but not much more education. Don’t misunderstand, no one is more pro-reform than Hanushek. The message of the book is that in implementing reform, we ought not repeat the mistakes of the past.