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Feeling the Florida Heat? How Low-Performing Schools Respond to Voucher and Accountability Pressure

Author

Listed:
  • Cecilia Elena Rouse
  • Jane Hannaway
  • Dan Goldhaber
  • David Figlio

Abstract

While numerous studies have found that school accountability boosts test scores, it is uncertain whether estimated test score gains reflect genuine improvements or merely ?gaming? behaviors. This paper brings to bear new evidence from a unique five-year, three-round survey conducted of a census of public elementary schools in Florida that is linked with detailed administrative data on student performance. We show that schools facing accountability pressure changed their instructional practices in meaningful ways, and that these responses can explain a portion of the test score gains associated with the Florida school accountability system. (JEL H75, I21, I28)

Suggested Citation

  • Cecilia Elena Rouse & Jane Hannaway & Dan Goldhaber & David Figlio, 2013. "Feeling the Florida Heat? How Low-Performing Schools Respond to Voucher and Accountability Pressure," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 251-281, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:5:y:2013:i:2:p:251-81
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.5.2.251
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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, January.
    2. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2005. "Identity and the Economics of Organizations," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(1), pages 9-32, Winter.
    3. Jeffrey R. Kling & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 2004. "Experimental Analysis of Neighborhood Effects on Youth," Working Papers 1, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    4. Figlio, David N. & Rouse, Cecilia Elena, 2006. "Do accountability and voucher threats improve low-performing schools?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1-2), pages 239-255, January.
    5. 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.
    6. Cecilia Elena Rouse, 1998. "Private School Vouchers and Student Achievement: An Evaluation of the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(2), pages 553-602.
    7. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics and Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753.
    8. Eric A. Hanushek & Margaret E. Raymond, 2005. "Does school accountability lead to improved student performance?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(2), pages 297-327.
    9. Martin R. West & Paul E. Peterson, 2006. "The Efficacy of Choice Threats Within School Accountability Systems: Results from Legislatively Induced Experiments," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(510), pages 46-62, March.
    10. David N. Figlio & Lawrence S. Getzler, 2002. "Accountability , Ability and Disability: Gaming the System," NBER Working Papers 9307, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Joshua D. Angrist & Victor Lavy, 1999. "Using Maimonides' Rule to Estimate the Effect of Class Size on Scholastic Achievement," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(2), pages 533-575.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. repec:aea:jeclit:v:55:y:2017:i:2:p:441-92 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Akyol, Metin, 2016. "Do educational vouchers reduce inequality and inefficiency in education?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 149-167.
    4. Figlio, D. & Karbownik, K. & Salvanes, K.G., 2016. "Education Research and Administrative Data," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
    5. 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.
    6. Dennis Epple & Richard E. Romano & Miguel Urquiola, 2017. "School Vouchers: A Survey of the Economics Literature," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 55(2), pages 441-492, June.
    7. Rajashri Chakrabarti, 2013. "Accountability with Voucher Threats, Responses, and the Test-Taking Population: Regression Discontinuity Evidence from Florida," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 8(2), pages 121-167, April.
    8. repec:eee:ecoedu:v:58:y:2017:i:c:p:55-67 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Matthew Kasman & Susanna Loeb, 2013. "Principals' Perceptions of Competition for Students in Milwaukee Schools," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 8(1), pages 43-73, January.
    10. Ferreyra, Maria Marta & Liang, Pierre Jinghong, 2012. "Information asymmetry and equilibrium monitoring in education," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 237-254.
    11. David M. Welsch & David M. Zimmer, 2015. "The Relationship Between Student Transfers and District Academic Performance: Accounting for Feedback Effects," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 10(3), pages 399-422, July.
    12. Schwerdt, Guido & West, Martin R., 2013. "The impact of alternative grade configurations on student outcomes through middle and high school," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 308-326.
    13. Tavares, Priscilla Albuquerque, 2015. "The impact of school management practices on educational performance: Evidence from public schools in São Paulo," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 1-15.
    14. 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.
    15. Song, Yang, 2017. "Sorting, School Performance and Quality: Evidence from China," Working Papers 2018-01, Department of Economics, Colgate University, revised 20 Mar 2018.
    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. 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.
    18. Gjefsen, Hege Marie & Gunnes, Trude, 2016. "The effects of School Accountability on Teacher Mobility and Teacher Sorting," MPRA Paper 69664, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    19. Figlio, David N. & Kenny, Lawrence W., 2009. "Public sector performance measurement and stakeholder support," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(9-10), pages 1069-1077, October.
    20. Coelli, Michael & Foster, Gigi & Leigh, Andrew, 2018. "Do School Principals Respond to Increased Public Scrutiny? New Survey Evidence from Australia," IZA Discussion Papers 11350, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    21. Gunnes, Trude & Donze, Jocelyn, 2016. "Teaching Practices and the Management of Student Motivation, Effort and Achievement," MPRA Paper 69954, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    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

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