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Performance assessment of secondary schools: the snapshot of a country taken by DEA


  • M C S Portela

    (Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Portugal)

  • A S Camanho

    (Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto, Portugal)

  • D Borges

    (Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Portugal)


This paper describes a performance assessment of Portuguese secondary schools using data envelopment analysis (DEA). The assessment adopts a perspective where schools are viewed as promoting students achievement given their characteristics in terms of academic abilities and socio-economic background. Our sample comprised all secondary schools in Portugal with both basic and secondary education levels. Two types of DEA analysis are performed: one using an output-oriented model that restricts output (exam scores) weights to be linked to the number of students that have done that exam in the school, and the other using a model that restricts factor weights to be equal for all schools. In this model the weight restrictions are linked to the total number of exams done nationally. The first model is well suited for identifying worst performing schools and to assess schools that may specialize in certain subjects, whereas the latter is best suited for improving discrimination between best performing schools when pursuing the identification of benchmarks, as well as to construct performance rankings.

Suggested Citation

  • M C S Portela & A S Camanho & D Borges, 2012. "Performance assessment of secondary schools: the snapshot of a country taken by DEA," Journal of the Operational Research Society, Palgrave Macmillan;The OR Society, vol. 63(8), pages 1098-1115, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:jorsoc:v:63:y:2012:i:8:p:1098-1115

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Kristof de Witte & Laura López-Torres, 2015. "Efficiency in Education. A Review of Literature and a Way Forward," Working Papers 1501, Departament Empresa, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, revised Apr 2015.
    2. Kao, Chiang & Liu, Shiang-Tai, 2014. "Measuring performance improvement of Taiwanese commercial banks under uncertainty," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 235(3), pages 755-764.
    3. repec:spr:annopr:v:250:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s10479-015-1854-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Kao, Chiang & Liu, Shiang-Tai, 2014. "Multi-period efficiency measurement in data envelopment analysis: The case of Taiwanese commercial banks," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 90-98.
    5. Fabiana Rocha & Plinio Portela de Oliveira & Janete Duarte & Sérgio Ricardo de Brito Gadelha & Luis Felipe Vital Nunes Pereira, 2017. "Can Education Targets be Met Without Increasing Public Spending? An Analysis for Brazilian Municipalities," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 37(1), pages 391-401.
    6. Kao, Chiang & Hwang, Shiuh-Nan, 2014. "Multi-period efficiency and Malmquist productivity index in two-stage production systems," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 232(3), pages 512-521.
    7. Johnes, Jill, 2015. "Operational Research in education," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 243(3), pages 683-696.
    8. Maria Conceição Portela, 2016. "Output-specific inputs in DEA: an application to courts," Working Papers de Gestão (Management Working Papers) 02, Católica Porto Business School, Universidade Católica Portuguesa.
    9. Podinovski, Victor V. & Ismail, Ihsan & Bouzdine-Chameeva, Tatiana & Zhang, Wenjuan, 2014. "Combining the assumptions of variable and constant returns to scale in the efficiency evaluation of secondary schools," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 239(2), pages 504-513.
    10. Chia-Chi Lee, 2014. "Performance evaluation of CPA firms in Taiwan from the perspective of industry-specific client groups," Service Business, Springer;Pan-Pacific Business Association, vol. 8(2), pages 267-293, June.

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