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School Size and the Distribution of Test Scores

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Author Info

  • Kelly Bedard

    (UC - Santa Barbara)

  • William O. Brown, Jr.

    (Claremont McKenna College)

  • Eric Helland

    (Claremont McKenna College)

Abstract

After forty years of school consolidation, the preponderance of the evidence, including the results presented in this paper, suggest that the race to reap returns to scale and specialization in education may have come at a high price. This paper uses newly available STAR test score data from California to explore the relationship between school size and the distribution of test scores across elementary, middle, and high schools. We find that school size has a statistically significant and economically large impact on school performance. For example, the probability that an average suburban high school is dominated by low scorers rises from 47% to 71% as the school grows from 200 to 800 students per grade.

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File URL: http://www.claremontmckenna.edu/rdschool/papers/1999-11.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Claremont Colleges in its series Claremont Colleges Working Papers with number 1999-11.

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Handle: RePEc:clm:clmeco:1999-11

Contact details of provider:
Postal: 500 E. 9th Street, Claremont, CA 91711
Phone: (909) 607-3041
Fax: (909) 621-8249
Web page: http://www.claremontmckenna.edu/rdschool/papers/
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Related research

Keywords: school size; test scores;

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References

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  1. Osburn, Donald D, 1970. "Economies of Size Associated with Public High Schools," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 52(1), pages 113-15, February.
  2. Arnott, Richard & Rowse, John, 1987. "Peer group effects and educational attainment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 287-305, April.
  3. Sander, William, 1993. "Expenditures and student achievement in Illinois : New evidence," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 403-416, October.
  4. repec:lan:wpaper:1016 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. S Bradley & J Taylor, . "The Effect of School Size on Exam Performance in Secondary Schools," Working Papers cr01/98, Department of Economics, University of Lancaster.
  6. Eide, Eric & Showalter, Mark H., 1998. "The effect of school quality on student performance: A quantile regression approach," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 345-350, March.
  7. Deller, Steven C. & Rudnicki, Edward, 1993. "Production efficiency in elementary education: The case of Maine public schools," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 45-57, March.
  8. Brown, Byron W & Saks, Daniel H, 1975. "The Production and Distribution of Cognitive Skills within Schools," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(3), pages 571-93, June.
  9. repec:lan:wpaper:1092 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Kelly Bedard, . "School Quality and the Distribution of Male Earnings in Canada," Claremont Colleges Working Papers 1999-13, Claremont Colleges.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Edward P. Lazear, 2001. "Educational Production," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(3), pages 777-803, August.
  2. Jane Friesen & Brian Krauth, 2004. "Sorting and inequality in Canadian schools," HEW 0408001, EconWPA.
  3. Corak, Miles & Lauzon, Darren, 2009. "Differences in the distribution of high school achievement: The role of class-size and time-in-term," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 189-198, April.
  4. Lauzon, Darren & Corak, Miles, 2005. "Differences entre les distributions du rendement scolaire au secondaire : le role de la taille de la classe et du temps d'enseignement," Direction des etudes analytiques : documents de recherche 2005270f, Statistics Canada, Direction des etudes analytiques.
  5. Kelly Bedard & William O. Brown, Jr., . "The Allocation of Public School Expenditures," Claremont Colleges Working Papers 2000-16, Claremont Colleges.

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