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An estimation of technical efficiency for Florida public elementary schools

  • Conroy, Stephen J.
  • Arguea, Nestor M.
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    We use a frontier production function estimation technique to analyze whether elementary schools in Florida are operating at an efficient level and to explain any inefficiencies. A motivation for this analysis comes from recent state and federal level educational initiatives designed to improve school accountability and reduce class sizes. Results presented here indicate that while Florida elementary schools are not operating at efficient levels (with regional mean inefficiency estimates in the 4.1-5.1% range), they compare favorably to published results for other states. One factor associated with higher inefficiency is student promotion rates--something which does lie within the purview of school administrators and may have important policy implications. However, other factors associated with higher inefficiency (percent free-lunch eligible, higher crime and violence, higher suspension rates and not having a parent-teacher organization) are indicators of conditions that lie largely beyond the direct control of public schools, casting doubt on the effectiveness of recent accountability measures to improve efficiency.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6VB9-4R1MF5G-2/2/1fb1179105a86fd6bb7ecb407db2c5fb
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics of Education Review.

    Volume (Year): 27 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 6 (December)
    Pages: 655-663

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:27:y:2008:i:6:p:655-663
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/econedurev

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    1. Jondrow, James & Knox Lovell, C. A. & Materov, Ivan S. & Schmidt, Peter, 1982. "On the estimation of technical inefficiency in the stochastic frontier production function model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2-3), pages 233-238, August.
    2. Aigner, Dennis & Lovell, C. A. Knox & Schmidt, Peter, 1977. "Formulation and estimation of stochastic frontier production function models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 21-37, July.
    3. Hung-jen Wang & Peter Schmidt, 2002. "One-Step and Two-Step Estimation of the Effects of Exogenous Variables on Technical Efficiency Levels," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 18(2), pages 129-144, September.
    4. Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain & Steven G. Rivkin, 2001. "Disruption versus Tiebout Improvement: The Costs and Benefits of Switching Schools," NBER Working Papers 8479, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Hanushek, Eric A, 1986. "The Economics of Schooling: Production and Efficiency in Public Schools," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 24(3), pages 1141-77, September.
    6. Cooper, Samuel T. & Cohn, Elchanan, 1997. "Estimation of a frontier production function for the South Carolina educational process," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 313-327, June.
    7. John Ruggiero & Donald F. Vitaliano, 1999. "Assessing The Efficiency Of Public Schools Using Data Envelopment Analysis And Frontier Regression," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 17(3), pages 321-331, 07.
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