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How Important are School Principals in the Production of Student Achievement?

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Author Info

  • Dhuey, Elizabeth
  • Smith, Justin

Abstract

As school leaders, principals can influence student achievement in a number of ways, such as: hiring and firing teachers, monitoring instruction, and maintaining student discipline, among others. We measure the effect of individual principals on gains in student math and reading achievement between grades four and seven. We estimate that a one standard deviation improvement in principal quality can boost student performance by approximately 0.2 standard deviations in both math and reading. We also show that principal experience does not exert a significant influence on student performance. Our results imply that isolating the most effective principals and allocating them accordingly between schools can have a significant positive effect on reducing achievement gaps.

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File URL: http://www.clsrn.econ.ubc.ca/workingpapers/CLSRN%20Working%20Paper%20no.%2090%20-%20Dhuey%20and%20Smith.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Vancouver School of Economics in its series CLSSRN working papers with number clsrn_admin-2011-33.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: 22 Dec 2011
Date of revision: 23 Dec 2011
Handle: RePEc:ubc:clssrn:clsrn_admin-2011-33

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Web page: http://www.clsrn.econ.ubc.ca/

Related research

Keywords: Economics of education; principals; education;

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References

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  1. DeCicca, Philip & Smith, Justin, 2013. "The long-run impacts of early childhood education: Evidence from a failed policy experiment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 41-59.
  2. Jesse Rothstein, 2010. "Teacher Quality in Educational Production: Tracking, Decay, and Student Achievement," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 125(1), pages 175-214, February.
  3. Kata Mihaly & Daniel F. McCaffrey & J. R. Lockwood & Tim R. Sass, 2010. "Centering and reference groups for estimates of fixed effects: Modifications to felsdvreg," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 10(1), pages 82-103, March.
  4. Michael B. Coelli & David A. Green & William P. Warburton, 2004. "Breaking the cycle? The effect of education on welfare receipt among children of welfare recipients," IFS Working Papers W04/14, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  5. Brian A. Jacob, 2010. "Do Principals Fire the Worst Teachers?," NBER Working Papers 15715, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Buddin, Richard & Zamarro, Gema, 2009. "Teacher qualifications and student achievement in urban elementary schools," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 103-115, September.
  7. Coelli, Michael & Green, David A., 2012. "Leadership effects: school principals and student outcomes," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 92-109.
  8. Brian A. Jacob & Lars Lefgren, 2005. "Principals as Agents: Subjective Performance Measurement in Education," NBER Working Papers 11463, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Jason A. Grissom & Demetra Kalogrides & Susanna Loeb, 2012. "Using Student Test Scores to Measure Principal Performance," NBER Working Papers 18568, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Hanley Chiang & Stephen Lipscomb & Brian Gill, 2012. "Is School Value-Added Indicative of Principal Quality?," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 7587, Mathematica Policy Research.
  3. Dhuey, Elizabeth & Smith, Justin, 2014. "How School Principals Influence Student Learning," IZA Discussion Papers 7949, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Cory Koedel & Jason A. Grissom & Shawn Ni & Michael Podgursky, 2011. "Pension-Induced Rigidities in the Labor Market for School Leaders," CESifo Working Paper Series 3605, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Stephen Lipscomb & Hanley Chiang & Brian Gill, 2012. "Value-Added Estimates for Phase 1 of the Pennsylvania Teacher and Principal Evaluation Pilot," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 7445, Mathematica Policy Research.
  6. Goux, Dominique & Gurgand, Marc & Maurin, Eric, 2014. "Adjusting Your Dreams? The Effect of School and Peers on Dropout Behaviour," IZA Discussion Papers 7948, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Stephen Lipscomb & Hanley Chiang & Brian Gill, 2012. "Value-Added Estimates for Phase 1 of the Pennsylvania Teacher and Principal Evaluation Pilot," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 7454, Mathematica Policy Research.

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