Hanushek began studying schools during his doctoral studies at MIT in 1966, where he came across the influential but flawed Coleman Report 

The Coleman Report claimed that schools had little impact on students' academic success and that increased funding would not improve outcomes 

Hanushek disagreed with the conclusion that schools didn't matter and later proposed that schools do make a difference, but the amount of money spent doesn't determine their effectiveness 

He published an academic paper titled "Throwing Money at Schools" in 1981, presenting his case against the belief that increased funding improves educational outcomes 

Hanushek consistently argued that there was no clear link between school resources (such as per-pupil spending, teacher salaries, and class sizes) and student performance 

However, reanalysis of Hanushek's data revealed flaws in his approach for summarizing studies and suggested a link between spending and performance 

The studies Hanushek relied on were unable to isolate the impact of money on student outcomes and were criticized for their poor quality 

From the early 1990s onwards, newer papers using "natural experiments" began to show a positive link between school spending and student outcomes