Aiming for Efficiency Rather Than Proficency
The No Child Left Behind law is flawed for many reasons, but the most important is that it is built around proficiency targets. Proficiency rates are not useful metrics of school performance because universal proficiency is not a socially efficient goal for principals and teachers. Further, the variation in proficiency rates among schools reflects, in large part, interschool differences in student background characteristics. The designers of accountability systems must move away from systems designed around a one-size-fits-all standard and begin designing systems that organize and promote competition among schools. Well-organized competition among schools is the best vehicle for making sure that schools use public funds efficiently. If education officials pursue this paradigm, they must develop relative performance measures that assess the outcomes of these contests while making reasonable allowance for differences in student populations served by public schools. I will discuss a method for deriving context-specific measures of school performance. A percentile performance index tells public officials how often the students in a particular school or classroom perform better than students in other schools who began the year in similar circumstances with respect to their prior achievements, the compositions of their classmates, and their family backgrounds. This index of relative performance provides the information policymakers need to make preliminary judgments concerning when to reorganize a given school and give a new staff the opportunity to prove they can do better.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Gadi Barlevy & Derek Neal, 2011.
"Pay for Percentile,"
NBER Working Papers
17194, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Reback, Randall, 2008.
"Teaching to the rating: School accountability and the distribution of student achievement,"
Journal of Public Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 1394-1415, June.
- Randall Reback, 2006. "Teaching to the Rating: School Accountability and the Distribution of Student Achievement," Working Papers 0602, Barnard College, Department of Economics.
- Thomas Dee & Brian Jacob, 2009. "The Impact of No Child Left Behind on Student Achievement," NBER Working Papers 15531, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bfi:wpaper:2010-007. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Toni Shears)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.