September 19, 2016Article

Market Watch: Opinion: How to Improve Education: Get a Better Return on Investment

by Scott Laband

Education/ 2016/

A ‘Moneyball’ approach that uses statistics can help kids from all neighborhoods

In “Moneyball,” based on the Oakland A’s, a pro baseball team with less money than its rivals improved by relentlessly analyzing its players’ skills.

Can education leaders in America use a “Moneyball” approach to help every school continuously improve, especially those in low-income districts?

I’m referring to the statistical wizardry in Michael Lewis’ best-selling book that explained how a Major League Baseball team with less money for talent than others could compete better by analyzing data in new ways.

In public education, that means, among other things, engaging a business mindset and metrics to focus local efforts on initiatives that are generating better outcomes for students.

That’s not just jargon, either; it means developing strategy, cost-benefit analyses and return on investment, also called educational productivity, or A-ROI (academic ROI).