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Who wins and who loses from school accountability? The distribution of educational gain in English secondary schools

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  • Simon Burgess
  • Carol Propper
  • Helen Slater
  • Deborah Wilson

    ()

Abstract

In 1988 the UK government introduced greater accountability into the English state school sector. But the information that schools are required to make public on their pupil achievement is only partial. The paper examines whether accountability measures based on a partial summary of student achievement influence the distribution of student achievement. Since school ratings only incorporate test results via pass rates, schools have incentives to improve the performance of students who are on the margin of meeting these standards, to the detriment of very low achieving or high achieving pupils. Using pupil level data for a cohort of all students in secondary public sector schools in England, we find that this policy reduces the educational gains and exam performance in high stakes exams of very low ability students.

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File URL: http://www.bris.ac.uk/Depts/CMPO/workingpapers/wp128.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK in its series The Centre for Market and Public Organisation with number 05/128.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bri:cmpowp:05/128

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Keywords: school accountability; high stakes exams; educational value added;

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References

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  1. Randall Reback & Julie Berry Cullen, 2006. "Tinkering toward accolades: School gaming under a performance accountability system," Working Papers 0601, Barnard College, Department of Economics.
  2. Glennerster, Howard, 1991. "Quasi-markets for Education?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(408), pages 1268-76, September.
  3. Andy Wiggins, 2002. "Dysfunctional Effects of League Tables: A Comparison Between English and Scottish Primary Schools," Public Money & Management, Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, vol. 22(1), pages 43-48, 01.
  4. Deborah Wilson, 2004. "Which Ranking? The Impact of a 'Value-Added' Measure of Secondary School Performance," Public Money & Management, Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, vol. 24(1), pages 37-45, 01.
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Cited by:
  1. Stephen Machin & Olmo Silva, 2013. "School Structure, School Autonomy and the Tail," CEP Special Papers 29, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  2. Deborah Wilson & Anete Piebalga, 2008. "Accurate performance measure but meaningless ranking exercise? An analysis of the English school league tables," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 07/176, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  3. Bandiera, Oriana & Barankay, Iwan & Rasul, Imran, 2006. "Incentives for Managers and Inequality Among Workers: Evidence from a Firm Level Experiment," CEPR Discussion Papers 5649, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Claudia Burgard & Barbara S. Grave, 2013. "Does it Pay Off to Incentivize Universities? – Performance Funding in the German Higher Education System Abstract: This paper analyzes the effect of the introduction of performance-related funding i," Ruhr Economic Papers 0457, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  5. Helen F. Ladd & Douglas L. Lauen, 2010. "Status versus growth: The distributional effects of school accountability policies," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(3), pages 426-450.
  6. Springer, Matthew G., 2008. "The influence of an NCLB accountability plan on the distribution of student test score gains," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 556-563, October.
  7. List, John A. & Rasul, Imran, 2011. "Field Experiments in Labor Economics," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
  8. Burgess, Simon & Wilson, Deborah & Worth, Jack, 2013. "A natural experiment in school accountability: The impact of school performance information on pupil progress," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 57-67.
  9. Silva, Olmo, 2009. "Some Remarks on the Effectiveness of Primary Education Interventions," IZA Policy Papers 5, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Justin M. Ross, 2007. "A Theoretical Model of the Distribution of Teacher Attention under Benchmark Testing," Working Papers 07-03, Department of Economics, West Virginia University.
  11. Bauer, Thomas K. & Grave, Barbara S., 2011. "Performance-related Funding of Universities: Does More Competition Lead to Grade Inflation?," IZA Discussion Papers 6073, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Derek Neal & Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, 2007. "Left Behind By Design: Proficiency Counts and Test-Based Accountability," NBER Working Papers 13293, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Ooghe, Erwin & Schokkaert, Erik, 2013. "School Accountability: Can We Reward Schools and Avoid Pupil Selection?," IZA Discussion Papers 7420, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  14. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:9:y:2008:i:29:p:1-8 is not listed on IDEAS

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