Wolff, Math Students Help with STEM Analysis of State Educational Expenditures

By Purnell T. Cropper | September 14, 2010

Three Arcadia University math students and Dr. Edward Wolff were among the a team of statisticians and data analysts that carried out the analysis on a September 2010 report on “Are Educational Expenditures Associated with 11th Grade Student Achievement in Pennsylvania School Districts?” for the 21st Century Partnership for STEM Education.

The Arcadians who were acknowledged in the report include:

  • Tom Manderachi, B.A. Arcadia University;
  • Regina M. Martin, B.A. in Mathematics, Arcadia University;
  • Brittany D. Mitchell, B.A. in Mathematics, Arcadia University
  • Edward F. Wolff, Ph.D., Professor of Mathematics, Arcadia University

According to the report: “In 2009, Pennsylvania public schools spent nearly $23.5 billion to educate approximately 1.8 million publicly enrolled K-12 students of whom about 600,000 were enrolled in high school. The purpose of this report is to examine whether and to what degree Pennsylvania school district expenditures per pupil are related to high school student achievement as measured by 11th grade PSSA proficiency rates and SAT scores across 4981 districts. A second purpose is to study whether and to what extent other factors are associated with 11th grade student achievement separate and apart from educational expenditures…. In sum, we found there was either no or very weak association between levels of education expenditures and 11th grade student achievement after controlling for other variables.” Read the report.