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Sandy Kress on how states can help school districts become more productive

February 12, 2014 2 minute Read by William McKenzie

The George W. Bush Institute has commissioned a series of scholarly papers examining the productivity of school districts. In short, how much bang are they getting for the bucks that taxpayers invest in them? You can find the papers at www.bushcenter.org.

One  of the authors is Sandy Kress, a former head of the Dallas school board and a fellow at the George W. Bush Institute.  He and two education researchers have written a paper looking at just how efficiently – or inefficiently – Texas schools operate.

This is more than a theoretical concern. The Texas Constitution requires legislators to “establish and make suitable provision for the support and maintenance of an efficient system of free public schools.”

In this video, Kress addresses how well the state is meeting that goal. He also discusses incentives the state could create to help districts operate more efficiently.

For districts, this is not some academic challenge. Resources for education are shrinking at the same time requirements for students are expanding. They have no choice but to become more productive. Of course, in the end, that will benefit students, educators and taxpayers.


Author

William McKenzie
William McKenzie

William McKenzie is editorial director for the George W. Bush Institute, where he also serves as editor of The Catalyst: A Journal of Ideas from the Bush Institute.

Active in education issues, he co-teaches an education policy class at SMU’s Simmons School of Education and Human Development. He also participates in the Bush Institute’s school accountability project.

Before joining the Bush Institute, the Fort Worth native served 22 years as an editorial columnist for the Dallas Morning News and led the newspaper’s Texas Faith blog. The University of Texas graduate’s columns appeared nationwide and he has won a Pulitzer Prize and commentary awards from the Education Writers Association, the American Academy of Religion, and the Texas Headliners Foundation, among other organizations. He still contributes columns and essays for the Morning News and The Weekly Standard.

Before joining the News in 1991, he earned a master’s degree in political science from the University of Texas at Arlington and spent a dozen years in Washington, D.C. During that time, he edited the Ripon Forum.

McKenzie has served as a Pulitzer Prize juror, on the board of a homeless organization, and on governing committees of a Dallas public school. He also is an elder of the First Presbyterian Church in Dallas, where he lives with his wife and their twin children.

Full Bio

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