Governor Jan Brewer has an idea.

It is a bad idea.

Someone please explain it to her.

She wants all schools to start with the same base funding (perhaps lower than what they have now). Then to give bonuses to schools that get an A or B!

As this blogger, David Safier, explains, the schools that get high marks are likely to be the school serving the students from affluent families.

Governor Brewer’s plan will increase inequity in funding and drag down poor kids whose schools need more staff and more resources. It will reinforce the Matthew Effect where those who have get more, and those who have not get less.

Safier proposes a way to make performance bonuses equitable, by factoring in family income.

Personally, I oppose funding schools in relation to their test scores because the tests are far too unreliable to carry that burden. And the more pressure you put on test scores, the less valid are they as measures because of the amount of time that will be squandered on test prep.

Really, someone on the governor’s staff should explain to her that there is quite a lot of research showing that bonuses tied to test scores do not produce higher test scores, although they often produce cheating and narrowing of the curriculum.