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Principals' Perceptions of Competition for Students in Milwaukee Schools

Author

Listed:
  • Matthew Kasman

    () (Center for Education Policy Analysis School of Education, Stanford University)

  • Susanna Loeb

    () (Center for Education Policy Analysis School of Education, Stanford University)

Abstract

The assertion that choice-driven competition between schools will improve school quality rests on several largely unexamined assumptions. One is that choice increases the competitive pressure experienced by school leaders. A second is that schools will seek to become more effective in response to competitive pressure. In this article, we use responses from a survey of Milwaukee public school principals to examine these assumptions. Our results suggest that there is a substantial amount of variation in how principals experience competitive pressure. Somewhat surprisingly, the extent to which principals perceive competition for students is not related to geographic factors such as the number of nearby schools. However, perceptions of competition are related to student achievement as well as to transfer rates out of a school. Although some schools respond to competition by trying to improve through curricular or instructional changes, a more common approach is to use outreach or advertisement. © 2013 Association for Education Finance and Policy

Suggested Citation

  • Matthew Kasman & Susanna Loeb, 2013. "Principals' Perceptions of Competition for Students in Milwaukee Schools," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 8(1), pages 43-73, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:edfpol:v:8:y:2013:i:1:p:43-73
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    File URL: http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1162/EDFP_a_00082
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Cecilia Elena Rouse & Jane Hannaway & Dan Goldhaber & David Figlio, 2013. "Feeling the Florida Heat? How Low-Performing Schools Respond to Voucher and Accountability Pressure," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 251-281, May.
    2. Justine S. Hastings & Thomas J. Kane & Douglas O. Staiger, 2005. "Parental Preferences and School Competition: Evidence from a Public School Choice Program," NBER Working Papers 11805, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Robert Bifulco & Helen F. Ladd, 2006. "The Impacts of Charter Schools on Student Achievement: Evidence from North Carolina," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 1(1), pages 50-90, January.
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    5. David Figlio & Cassandra M. D. Hart, 2014. "Competitive Effects of Means-Tested School Vouchers," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(1), pages 133-156, January.
    6. Imberman, Scott A., 2011. "The effect of charter schools on achievement and behavior of public school students," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7-8), pages 850-863, August.
    7. Booker, Kevin & Gilpatric, Scott M. & Gronberg, Timothy & Jansen, Dennis, 2008. "The effect of charter schools on traditional public school students in Texas: Are children who stay behind left behind?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 123-145, July.
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    11. George M. Holmes, "undated". "Does school choice increase school quality?," Working Papers 0106, East Carolina University, Department of Economics.
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    13. Chiang, Hanley, 2009. "How accountability pressure on failing schools affects student achievement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(9-10), pages 1045-1057, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Figlio, D. & Karbownik, K. & Salvanes, K.G., 2016. "Education Research and Administrative Data," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    school competition; Milwaukee;

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education

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