Valuing education initiatives

Thanks to the encouragement of my beautiful and persistent wife Lisa, I have committed to write and e-publish (via Amazon) a book. The publication process looks straightforward enough, so the ‘only’ challenge is to actually sit down a write a book that people will spend money on.

After a few months of pondering, I’ve finally decided on a topic. It will be based on knowledge I’ve accumulated over many years, particularly since 2011 working as Financial Strategy Manager for the Queensland Department of Education and Training. Here’s a glimpse of the working title and possible structure…

Education ROI: An introductory guide to ‘return on investment’ reporting
for school principals and education researchers

1. Introduction
2. Principles and stages
3. Performance story reporting
4. Logic mapping
5. Estimating costs
6. Efficiency analysis
7. Outcomes analysis
8. Benefit-cost analysis
9. Value-for-money comparisons
10. Final comments
11. Further reading
12. Glossary
13. Bibliography

And here’s an opening paragraph…

Extensive research has shown that high-quality teaching and learning leads to increased innovation, productivity, lifetime income and improved well-being. There is a general consensus that education investment has a high personal and societal return. However, decisions between different education reforms are often hampered by a lack of evidence on their effectiveness and efficiency.  The benefits of specific initiatives are notoriously difficult to measure and isolate from other effects. In many cases education decision-makers are in the dark about relative value-for-money. This Guide seeks to help address this information gap. Methods in this Guide can be used at various stages of an initiative’s life cycle from project scoping through to final evaluation. The Guide provides a standardized approach to return on investment or ROI assessments that can be applied to a wide range of initiatives.

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