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Short-Run Impacts of Accountability on School Quality

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  • Jonah Rockoff
  • Lesley J. Turner

Abstract

In the fall of 2007, New York City began using student tests and other measures to assign each school a grade (A to F), and linked grades to rewards and consequences, including possible school closure. These grades were released in late September, arguably too late for schools to make major changes in programs or personnel, and students were tested again in January (English) and March (math). Despite this time frame, regression discontinuity estimates indicate that receipt of a low grade significantly increased student achievement, more so in math than English, and improved parental evaluations of school quality. (JEL H75, I21, I28, J45)

Suggested Citation

  • Jonah Rockoff & Lesley J. Turner, 2010. "Short-Run Impacts of Accountability on School Quality," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 119-147, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:2:y:2010:i:4:p:119-47
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.2.4.119
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Chakrabarti Rajashri, 2013. "Impact of Voucher Design on Public School Performance: Evidence from Florida and Milwaukee Voucher Programs," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 14(1), pages 349-394, July.
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    3. Feng, Li & Figlio, David & Sass, Tim, 2018. "School accountability and teacher mobility," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 1-17.
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    5. Kenneth Y. Chay & Patrick J. McEwan & Miguel Urquiola, 2005. "The Central Role of Noise in Evaluating Interventions That Use Test Scores to Rank Schools," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1237-1258, September.
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    8. Hanley Chiang, "undated". "How Accountability Pressure on Failing Schools Affects Student Achievement," Mathematica Policy Research Reports c58a3b537e324447b94a2bd41, Mathematica Policy Research.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Chakrabarti, Rajashri, 2014. "Incentives and responses under No Child Left Behind: Credible threats and the role of competition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 124-146.
    2. Woo, Seokjin & Lee, Soohyung & Kim, Kyunghee, 2015. "Carrot and stick?: Impact of a low-stakes school accountability program on student achievement," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 195-199.
    3. Hemelt, Steven W., 2011. "Performance effects of failure to make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP): Evidence from a regression discontinuity framework," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 702-723, August.
    4. Atila Abdulkadiroglu & Joshua D. Angrist & Yusuke Narita & Parag A. Pathak, 2017. "Impact Evaluation in Matching Markets with General Tie-Breaking," NBER Working Papers 24172, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. De Witte, Kristof & Geys, Benny & Solondz, Catharina, 2014. "Public expenditures, educational outcomes and grade inflation: Theory and evidence from a policy intervention in the Netherlands," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 152-166.
    6. Pierre Koning & Karen Wiel, 2012. "School Responsiveness to Quality Rankings: An Empirical Analysis of Secondary Education in the Netherlands," De Economist, Springer, vol. 160(4), pages 339-355, December.
    7. Camargo, Braz & Camelo, Rafael & Firpo, Sergio & Ponczek, Vladimir, 2014. "Information, Market Incentives, and Student Performance," IZA Discussion Papers 7941, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. repec:eee:ecoedu:v:58:y:2017:i:c:p:123-140 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Emiliana Vegas & Alejandro Ganimian, 2013. "Theory and Evidence on Teacher Policies in Developed and Developing Countries," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 4597, Inter-American Development Bank.
    10. Craig, Steven G. & Imberman, Scott A. & Perdue, Adam, 2013. "Does it pay to get an A? School resource allocations in response to accountability ratings," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 30-42.
    11. Tahir Andrabi & Jishnu Das & Asim Khwaja, 2014. "Report Cards: The Impact of Providing School and Child Test Scores on Educational Markets," CID Working Papers 287, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
    12. Nunes, Luis C. & Reis, Ana Balcão & Seabra, Carmo, 2015. "The publication of school rankings: A step toward increased accountability?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 15-23.
    13. Sarena F. Goodman & Lesley J. Turner, 2013. "The Design of Teacher Incentive Pay and Educational Outcomes: Evidence from the New York City Bonus Program," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(2), pages 409-420.
    14. Friesen, Jane & Harris, Benjamin Cerf & Woodcock, Simon D., 2013. "Open Enrolment and Student Achievement," IZA Discussion Papers 7642, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    15. Cortes, Kalena E. & Moussa, Wael S. & Weinstein, Jeffrey M., 2013. "Educating bright students in urban schools," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 286-297.
    16. Patricia M. Anderson & Kristin F. Butcher & Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, 2017. "Adequate (or Adipose?) Yearly Progress: Assessing the Effect of “No Child Left Behind” on Children's Obesity," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 12(1), pages 54-76, Winter.
    17. Craig, Steven G. & Imberman, Scott A. & Perdue, Adam, 2015. "Do administrators respond to their accountability ratings? The response of school budgets to accountability grades," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 55-68.
    18. Rockoff, Jonah E. & Lockwood, Benjamin B., 2010. "Stuck in the middle: Impacts of grade configuration in public schools," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(11-12), pages 1051-1061, December.
    19. Andrew Leigh, 2013. "Revenge of the Nerds: The Economics of Education Reform," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 46(2), pages 227-233, June.
    20. de Hoyos, Rafael & Garcia-Moreno, Vicente A. & Patrinos, Harry Anthony, 2017. "The impact of an accountability intervention with diagnostic feedback: Evidence from Mexico," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 123-140.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H75 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Government: Health, Education, and Welfare
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • J45 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Public Sector Labor Markets

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