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Short-Run Impacts of Accountability on School Quality

  • Jonah Rockoff
  • Lesley J. Turner

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)

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Economic Policy.

Volume (Year): 2 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 119-47

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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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  1. Hanley Chiang, 2009. "How Accountability Pressure on Failing Schools Affects Student Achievement," Mathematica Policy Research Reports c58a3b537e324447b94a2bd41, Mathematica Policy Research.
  2. Sandra E. Black, 1999. "Do Better Schools Matter? Parental Valuation Of Elementary Education," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(2), pages 577-599, May.
  3. repec:mpr:mprres:6364 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Kenneth Y. Chay & Patrick J. McEwan & Miguel Urquiola, 2003. "The Central Role of Noise in Evaluating Interventions that Use Test Scores to Rank Schools," NBER Working Papers 10118, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Li Feng & David N. Figlio & Tim Sass, 2010. "School accountability and teacher mobility," NBER Working Papers 16070, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Rajashri Chakrabarti, 2004. "Impact of Voucher Design on Public School Performance: Evidence from Florida and Milwaukee Voucher Programs," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 221, Econometric Society.
  7. Rajashri Chakrabarti, 2013. "Vouchers, Public School Response, And The Role Of Incentives: Evidence From Florida," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(1), pages 500-526, 01.
  8. Chiang, Hanley, 2009. "How accountability pressure on failing schools affects student achievement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(9-10), pages 1045-1057, October.
  9. Julie Berry Cullen & Randall Reback, 2006. "Tinkering Toward Accolades: School Gaming Under a Performance Accountability System," NBER Working Papers 12286, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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