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Principals as Agents? Investigating Accountability in the Compensation and Performance of School Principals

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  • Billger, Sherrilyn M.

    ()
    (Illinois State University)

Abstract

In this study I examine the relationship between accountability (e.g., state sanctions for poor performance, or the presence of goals required by the district) and public secondary principal pay and school performance. Though such incentives and standards are increasingly common, the existing literature provides little evidence on the effectiveness of these policies. I explore cross-sectional variation in data from the Schools and Staffing Survey, and use quantile regressions where the conditional distributions of pay and school outcomes reflect variation in performance that is not observable in the data. I find that accountability coincides with lower college matriculation rates and lower principal pay, particularly for the best principals. On the other hand, accountability corresponds to higher retention rates at the worst schools. Though they may not be directly rewarded, school principals appear to act as agents for students in danger of dropping out.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2662.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 2007, 61(1), 90-107
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2662

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Keywords: pay for performance; school principals; school accountability; education finance;

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  1. Ballou, Dale & Podgursky, Michael, 1995. "What makes a good principal? How teachers assess the performance of principals," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 243-252, September.
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  14. Ronald G. Ehrenberg & Ronald A. Ehrenberg & Richard P. Chaykowski, 1988. "Determinants of the compensation and mobility of school superintendents," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 41(3), pages 386-401, April.
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  17. Eberts, Randall W. & Stone, Joe A., 1988. "Student achievement in public schools: Do principals make a difference?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 291-299, June.
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  19. Schultz, T.P. & Mwabu, G., 1997. "Labor Unions and the Distribution of Wages and Employment in South Africa," Papers 776, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
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Cited by:
  1. Miller, Ashley, 2013. "Principal turnover and student achievement," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 60-72.
  2. Billger, Sherrilyn M., 2007. "Principal Accountability at Private Secondary Schools," IZA Discussion Papers 3162, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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