According to Wikipedia, cost–benefit analysis “is a systematic process for calculating and comparing benefits and costs of a project, decision or government policy (hereafter, ‘project’). CBA has two purposes, says Peter Smagorinsky, distinguished research professor of English education at the University of Georgia, for the Washington Post:

1.To determine if it is a sound investment/decision (justification/feasibility),

2.To provide a basis for comparing projects. It involves comparing the total expected cost of each option against the total expected benefits, to see whether the benefits outweigh the costs, and by how much.”

I believe that it would be prudent to apply this process to the current accountability movement now being administered in public education, primarily in the form of testing mandates such as No Child Left Behind and Race To The Top. Although I am not an economist — I’m an old high school English teacher now engaged in teacher education at the university level — I believe that I understand the issues at stake as well as anyone currently employed in the U.S. Department of Education…

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staff and wire services reports