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An Analysis of Professional Judgments


  • Heather Rose

    () (School of Education, University of California, Davis)

  • Jon Sonstelie

    () (Department of Economics, University of California, Santa Barbara)


Many states have used professional judgment panels to determine the resources schools need to meet certain performance targets. This study initiates a critical study of that method. Using budget simulations with hypothetical schools, we collected the judgments of forty-five principals about how school budgets should be allocated and how school resources affect student achievement. We found considerable variation among principals in both budget allocations and achievement predictions. We also found that principals were more optimistic about student achievement than is warranted by either achievement in comparable schools or recent research on the relationship between resources and achievement. © 2008 American Education Finance Association

Suggested Citation

  • Heather Rose & Jon Sonstelie, 2008. "An Analysis of Professional Judgments," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 3(2), pages 165-196, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:edfpol:v:3:y:2008:i:2:p:165-196

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Joshua D. Angrist & Kevin Lang, 2002. "How Important are Classroom Peer Effects? Evidence from Boston's Metco Program," NBER Working Papers 9263, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain & Steven G. Rivkin, 2009. "New Evidence about Brown v. Board of Education: The Complex Effects of School Racial Composition on Achievement," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(3), pages 349-383, July.
    3. Alejandro Gaviria & Steven Raphael, 2001. "School-Based Peer Effects And Juvenile Behavior," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(2), pages 257-268, May.
    4. David J. Zimmerman, 2003. "Peer Effects in Academic Outcomes: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(1), pages 9-23, February.
    5. Bruce Sacerdote, 2001. "Peer Effects with Random Assignment: Results for Dartmouth Roommates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(2), pages 681-704.
    6. Caroline Hoxby, 2000. "Peer Effects in the Classroom: Learning from Gender and Race Variation," NBER Working Papers 7867, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Edward P. Lazear, 2001. "Educational Production," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(3), pages 777-803.
    8. Evans, William N & Oates, Wallace E & Schwab, Robert M, 1992. "Measuring Peer Group Effects: A Study of Teenage Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 966-991, October.
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    More about this item


    professional judgment; school budgets; school resources;

    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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