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Resources and Standards in Urban Schools

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  • Machin, Stephen

    ()
    (University College London)

  • McNally, Sandra

    ()
    (London School of Economics)

  • Meghir, Costas

    ()
    (Yale University)

Abstract

Despite being central to government education policy in many countries, there remains considerable debate about whether resources matter for pupil outcomes. In this paper we look at this question by considering an English education policy initiative – Excellence in Cities – which has been a flagship policy aimed at raising standards in inner-city secondary schools. We report results showing a positive impact of the extra resources on school attendance and performance in Mathematics (though not for English) but, interestingly, there is a marked heterogeneity in the effectiveness of the policy. Its greatest impact has been in more disadvantaged schools and on the performance of middle and high ability students within these schools. A back-of-envelope cost-benefit calculation suggests the policy to be cost-effective. We conclude that additional resources can matter for children in the poorest secondary schools, particularly when building on a solid educational or ability background. However, small changes in resources have little or no effect on the ‘hard to reach’ children who have not achieved a sufficiently strong prior level.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2653.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Human Capital, 2010, 4 (4), 365-393
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2653

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Keywords: resources; evaluation; disadvantage; education;

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References

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  1. Alan Krueger & Diane Whitmore, 1999. "The Effect of Attending a Small Class in the Early Grades on College-Test Taking and Middle School Test Results: Evidence from Project STAR," Working Papers 806, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  2. Alan Krueger, 1997. "Experimental Estimates of Education Production Functions," Working Papers 758, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  3. Lavy, Victor & Schlosser, Analia, 2004. "Targeted Remedial Education for Underperforming Teenagers: Costs and Benefits," CEPR Discussion Papers 4381, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Alan B. Krueger, 2000. "Economic Considerations and class size," Working Papers 975, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Research on Child Wellbeing..
  5. Joshua D. Angrist & Victor Lavy, 1999. "Using Maimonides' Rule To Estimate The Effect Of Class Size On Scholastic Achievement," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(2), pages 533-575, May.
  6. Blundell, Richard William & Costa Dias, Monica & Meghir, Costas & Van Reenen, John, 2003. "Evaluating the Employment Impact of a Mandatory Job Search Programme," CEPR Discussion Papers 3786, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Carneiro, Pedro & Heckman, James J., 2003. "Human Capital Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 821, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Bénabou, Roland & Kramarz, Francis & Prost, Corinne, 2005. "The French Zones D'Education Prioritaire: Much Ado About Nothing?," CEPR Discussion Papers 5085, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Stephen Machin & Sandra McNally & Costas Meghir, 2004. "Improving Pupil Performance in English Secondary Schools: Excellence in Cities," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(2-3), pages 396-405, 04/05.
  10. Janet Currie, 2001. "Early Childhood Education Programs," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(2), pages 213-238, Spring.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Stephen Gibbons & Sandra McNally & Martina Viarengo, 2011. "Does Additional Spending Help Urban Schools? An Evaluation Using Boundary Discontinuities," SERC Discussion Papers 0090, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
  2. Stephen Machin & Sandra McNally & Gill Wyness, 2013. "Education in a Devolved Scotland: A Quantitative Analysis," CEP Special Papers 30, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  3. Stephen Gibbons & Sandra McNally, 2013. "The Effects of Resources Across School Phases: A Summary of Recent Evidence," CEP Discussion Papers dp1226, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  4. Deborah A. Cobb-Clark & Nikhil Jha, 2013. "Educational Achievement and the Allocation of School Resources," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2013n27, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  5. Gibbons, Stephen & Machin, Stephen & Silva, Olmo, 2013. "Valuing school quality using boundary discontinuities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 15-28.
  6. J Taylor & S Bradley & G Migali, 2009. "The distributional impact of increased school resources: the Specialist Schools Initiative and the Excellence in Cities Programme," Working Papers 602528, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
  7. Rodríguez-Planas, Núria, 2010. "Longer-Term Impacts of Mentoring, Educational Services, and Incentives to Learn: Evidence from a Randomized Trial," IZA Discussion Papers 4754, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Monique De Haan, 2012. "The Effect of Additional Funds for Low-Ability Pupils - A Nonparametric Bounds Analysis," CESifo Working Paper Series 3993, CESifo Group Munich.

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