Improving Student Learning When Budgets Are Tight
- Allan R. Odden - University of Wisconsin–Madison, USA
A how-to manual for achieving excellence despite budget cuts
How do you stay focused on increasing student learning when budget cuts threaten everything you are striving for? This book offers a comprehensive framework to enhance student achievement in good times and in bad. School reform expert Allan R. Odden outlines a school improvement action plan focused sharply on student learning and then shows how to target resources to implement each strategy in that plan. More than just a "theory" book, this text describes concrete, specific actions that can be taken immediately. Key strategies include
- Using data to support boosting student performance
- Focusing on effective instruction
- Setting goals to drive resource allocation priorities
- Establishing priorities for situations that require budget cuts
- Hiring top teachers and providing ongoing professional development
- Providing needed technology resources
Educators will find a wide range of real-life examples of schools and districts that have implemented these strategies and significantly improved student learning. Also included is research-based guidance for optimizing teacher and principal talent, teacher recruiting and hiring, online learning, and more. This book successfully communicates many years of work and offers well- grounded advice that will help educators move from financial frustration to effective action.
“This book offers a comprehensive framework to enhance student achievement in good times and in bad. It presents opportunities for schools and government to work together to strategically confront the budgetary challenges facing public education today.”
“Allan Odden’s book thoughtfully demonstrates that budgetary challenges facing our schools are immense and one that dedicated public servants are meeting with resilience and invention as they retain powerful education improvement strategies that close the achievement gap.”
“Any leader who wants to understand school finance and budgeting should begin by learning from Alan Odden. This book combines research on what works to improve performance with resource implications and is filled with clear, comprehensive, and practical advice for school leaders who want to do more with less.”
“This is the right advice at the right time for schools. Allan Odden has provided practical tips for education leaders to put their resources behind the spending areas that are shown to improve student academic performance. His book is a “how-to manual” for school leaders to improve student performance at a time of limited resources.”
"This new book brings together many years of work in a set of ideas that are compelling and feasible, especially in the current fiscal climate. Odden provides sensible, well grounded advice that would work in any setting. This is important work that deserves not just wide reading, but action."
"This how-to guide from noted ed-school professor and school-budget expert Allan Odden offers some necessary advice for school administrators learning to wield their budget axes deftly (and a number of helpful examples of how districts are doing just that). Odden’s mission—for district leaders to make cuts intelligently rather than clumsily or politically—would lead to a radical shift in the K-12 spending paradigm. And it’s about time."