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Gains in standardized test scores: Evidence of diminishing returns to achievement

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  • Driscoll, Donna
  • Halcoussis, Dennis
  • Svorny, Shirley

Abstract

In many states, standardized tests are used to hold schools accountable for student academic achievement. To motivate improvement in test scores, financial awards are given to teachers and administrators in schools that show the greatest gains. However, failure to adjust for initial conditions may put awards out of the reach of some schools and fail to produce the desired incentives. In this paper, we examine factors that influence gains in test scores using school-level data from California (1999-2003). We find evidence that validates the existing California award system--test scores improved the most for weak schools.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics of Education Review.

Volume (Year): 27 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 211-220

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:27:y:2008:i:2:p:211-220

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/econedurev

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  1. Caroline Minter Hoxby, 1994. "Do Private Schools Provide Competition for Public Schools?," NBER Working Papers 4978, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Thomas J. Kane & Douglas O. Staiger, 2002. "The Promise and Pitfalls of Using Imprecise School Accountability Measures," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(4), pages 91-114, Fall.
  3. Caroline M. Hoxby, 2000. "Does Competition among Public Schools Benefit Students and Taxpayers?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1209-1238, December.
  4. Driscoll, Donna & Halcoussis, Dennis & Svorny, Shirley, 2003. "School district size and student performance," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 193-201, April.
  5. Christopher Jepsen & Steven Rivkin, 2002. "What is the Tradeoff Between Smaller Classes and Teacher Quality?," NBER Working Papers 9205, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Mezgebo, Taddese, 2008. "“After all, most of the ‘Myth’ has some blurred empirical foundation: determinants of University level performance of students: case study of Rural Development Course covered in 2008 with in Mek," MPRA Paper 17923, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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