Production Models of Schooling:
the causal metaphor

©1999 Edward G. Rozycki

edited 4/2/12

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Productivity, Politics and Hypocrisy in American Public Education
Democracy vs. Efficiency in Public Schooling



The Production Model is simple. This alone recommends it to proponents. But even though the Production Model is simple, how we conceive of the relationship between resources and achievement still makes a substantial difference to considerations of control, cost and benefit.

The Basic Production Model

Achievement depends on resources (alone?)

A = f(R)

Resources and Achievement can relate in a variety of ways, e.g.

power: past gains increase present gains

linear: always proportional

logarithmic: diminishing returns

Even linearly, we find variations:
consider that students may be normal, advantaged, or disadvantaged.
But suppose there is no continuous relationship, e.g. achievement is step-wise related. Would this affect our perceptions of success?
Perhaps achievement gains are cyclical. 
Should we stop providing resources when peaks are achieved?
How would we know when this was?