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On Educational Performance Measures

  • Alastair Muriel
  • Jeffrey Smith

Quantitative school performance measures (QPMs) are playing an ever larger role in education systems on both sides of the Atlantic. In this paper we outline the rationale for the use of such measures in education, review the literature relating to several important problems associated with their use, and argue that they nonetheless have a positive role to play in improving the educational quality. We delineate several institutional reforms which would help schools to respond "positively" to QPMs, emphasizing the importance of agents' flexibility to change the way they work, and the importance of a sound knowledge base regarding "what works" in raising attainment. We suggest that the present institutional setups in both England and the US too often hold schools accountable for outcomes over which they have little control – but that such problems are far from insurmountable.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1475-5890.2011.00132.x
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Article provided by Institute for Fiscal Studies in its journal Fiscal Studies.

Volume (Year): 32 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (06)
Pages: 187-206

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Handle: RePEc:ifs:fistud:v:32:y:2011:i::p:187-206
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  1. Deborah Wilson & Anete Piebalga, 2008. "Accurate performance measure but meaningless ranking exercise? An analysis of the English school league tables," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 07/176, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
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