From the analysis of the available data, there is no clear correlation between funding and school average performance; for a given level of funding, there is significant variation in performance the calculated correlation coefficient between the two variables was less than 0.1. In our view, this suggests that the level of funding, per se, is almost irrelevant as a predictor of performance.
Having said that, the study does find a correlation between a measure of school quality and average student performance. That result would contradict the null hypothesis. However, the indicator that the researchers use for school quality is not convincingly exogenous.
the Ofsted ‘overall effectiveness’ indicator has been used as our measure of school quality. This is a combined assessment of schools’ performance that contains specific judgements on:
— pupils’ achievement and the extent to which they enjoy their learning;
— how well do learners achieve;
— pupils’ behaviour;
— the quality of teaching; and
— the effectiveness of leadership and management in embedding ambition and driving improvement.
The ‘overall effectiveness’ judgement is then made on a four-point scale: outstanding (1); good (2); satisfactory (3); and inadequate (4)
Coulson also supplies a chart demonstrating the null hypothesis in American education spending.