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Highly Successful Schools: What Do They Do Differently and at What Cost?

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  • María Pérez

    () (Institute for Research on Education Policy and Practice, Stanford University)

  • Miguel Socias

    (American Institutes for Research, Palo Alto, CA)

Abstract

An underlying premise of many resource adequacy studies is that reaching a specified set of educational outcomes is directly dependent on the level of resources. This article analyzes resource allocation practices among successful schools, low-performing schools, and average public schools in California. We find that differences in traditional resource measures are not able to explain the sharp differences in student achievement among these schools. While unmeasured differences in student characteristics in these schools may explain part of the difference in achievement, the schools also differ dramatically in their effectiveness even though they have very similar expenditure levels. The conclusion is not that resources do not matter. They do, but only when used wisely. This article also delves into what successful schools are doing that might explain their success. © 2008 American Education Finance Association

Suggested Citation

  • María Pérez & Miguel Socias, 2008. "Highly Successful Schools: What Do They Do Differently and at What Cost?," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 3(1), pages 109-129, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:edfpol:v:3:y:2008:i:1:p:109-129
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    File URL: http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1162/edfp.2008.3.1.109
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    Cited by:

    1. Francisco Henríquez & Alejandra Mizala & Andrea Repetto, 2009. "Effective Schools for Low Income Children: a Study of Chile’s Sociedad de Instrucción Primaria," Documentos de Trabajo 258, Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    successful schools; resource allocation; student achievement; California;

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid

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