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Report from Federal Reserve Bank Comes Up Short

BOULDER, CO (June 22, 2021) The Effect of Constitutional Provisions on Education Policy and Outcomes, a recent report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, examines the potential effects of amending education clauses contained in states’ constitutions.

Bruce D. Baker of Rutgers University reviewed the report and found its conclusions to be overly simplistic, despite using excessively complex analyses to make its case.

The apparent intent of the Federal Reserve Bank report is to provide an empirical justification for amending the education clause of Minnesota’s constitution. Specifically, the report lays out four independent empirical analyses in an attempt to advance a theory of action for improving education quality. This theory of action asserts that amending these education clauses to include strong language regarding a legislative duty to fund schools leads to increased citizen leverage, potential judicial intervention, and adopted legislation—all of which lead to better school quality and student outcomes.

Unfortunately, the four analyses presented in the report use methods and models that exceed the capacity and quality of the data. In addition, these methods and models are inadequately linked to one another or to the theory of action.

Professor Baker concludes that the report provides little evidentiary basis for the proposed theory of action or for the current campaign to amend the Minnesota constitution.        

Find the review, by Bruce D. Baker, at:

Find The Effect of Constitutional Provisions on Education Policy and Outcomes, written by Scott Dallman, Anusha Nath and Filip Premik and published by the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, at:

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