In declaring Colorado's school finance system "significantly underfunded," Denver District Judge Sheila Rappaport rejected virtually every argument presented by the state's star witnesses in a five-week trial this year over school funding levels.
Rappaport's ruling, issued Friday, blasted the state's level of school funding as "unconscionable" and not meeting the requirement in the Education Clause of the Colorado Constitution of a "thorough and uniform" system of public education. Her ruling handed the problem off to lawmakers to fix, and the judge said she wouldn't revisit her ruling any earlier than the end of the 2012 legislative session.
A key witness for the state was, a scholar at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, who testified that repeated studies have shown no consistent relationship between levels of funding and achievement. He also testified that average funding per pupil in the United States quadrupled from 1960 to 2007, while performance essentially stayed flat.
But Rappaport blistered Hanushek several times throughout her ruling.
Hee, hee, hee... Hey, did Hanushek try to pull that "fire the bottom 10%" nonsense during the trial?"Dr. Hanushek's analysis that there is not much relationship in Colorado between spending and achievement contradicts testimony and documentary evidence from dozens of well-respected educators in the state, defies logic and is statistically flawed," the judge said, pointing to cases in which courts in other states "found him to lack credibility."
This was a big victory; it's going to have implications nationwide. Congratulations to the plaintiffs and their experts, including a certain New Jersey professor I've posted about one or two times. Did I mention he has a blog?