Public School (SPS) Feedback Loops

Loop 1: Public schools sometimes don't meet expectations

My model assumes parents prefer to send their kids to public school. But in some cases, they may be disappointed in their children's educational outcomes. This may show up in many forms, but the simplest to measure is academics. If parents see an emerging gap and have the means, they can withdraw their children from public school and seek alternatives.

graph TD
P[Parental expectations] --> |s| G[Satisfaction gap]
R[Academic results] --> |o| G
G --> |o| E[School enrollment]

Loop 2: Rich parents can improve public schools

Rather than giving up on public school, parents with means can also invest in improving the school's quality. Parents routinely band together into Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs), and collectively raise money to address visible gaps in their local public school, improving student outcomes.

graph TD
R[Academic results] --> |o| G[Satisfaction gap]
PF[Parent funding] --> |s| R
E[School enrollment] --> |s| PF
G --> |o| E

Loop 3: Progressive school district curtails PTA spending

Some school districts, especially in progressive cities, seek equal outcomes across all schools, focusing disproportionately on improving outcomes for the worst performing areas. In addition, the school district actively discourages the richest PTAs from improving their local public schools, which tend to also be the best performing.

The SPS district has a contribution limit for additional teacher salaries (paid for by PTA) of $250,000 per year.

graph TD
AR[Academic results] --> |s| EQ[School inequality] 
W[Other<br/>school<br/>w/ worse<br/>results] --> |s| EQ
EQ --> |o| PF[Parent funding]


We can take each of the feedback loops above, smash them together, and create a general narrative for what's going on with SPS. Is this accurate?

graph TD
PE[Parental expectations] --> |s| PS[Satisfaction gap]
AR[Academic results] --> |s| PS
PS --> |s| SE[School enrollment]
PF[Parent funding] --> |s| AR
SE --> |s| PF
AR --> |s| EQ[School inequality] 
W[Other<br/>school<br/>worse<br/>results] --> |s| EQ
EQ --> |o| PF
PS --> |o| OO[Other<br/>education<br/>options]
OO --> |o| SE


Last edited on Nov 2022