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Who wins and who loses from school accountability? The distribution of educational gain in English secondary schools

  • Simon Burgess
  • Carol Propper
  • Helen Slater
  • Deborah Wilson

    ()

In 1988 the UK government introduced greater accountability into the English state school sector. But the information that schools are required to make public on their pupil achievement is only partial. The paper examines whether accountability measures based on a partial summary of student achievement influence the distribution of student achievement. Since school ratings only incorporate test results via pass rates, schools have incentives to improve the performance of students who are on the margin of meeting these standards, to the detriment of very low achieving or high achieving pupils. Using pupil level data for a cohort of all students in secondary public sector schools in England, we find that this policy reduces the educational gains and exam performance in high stakes exams of very low ability students.

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File URL: http://www.bris.ac.uk/Depts/CMPO/workingpapers/wp128.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK in its series The Centre for Market and Public Organisation with number 05/128.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bri:cmpowp:05/128
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Web page: http://www.bris.ac.uk/cmpo/
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  1. Deborah Wilson, 2004. "Which Ranking? The Impact of a 'Value-Added' Measure of Secondary School Performance," Public Money & Management, Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, vol. 24(1), pages 37-45, 01.
  2. Andy Wiggins, 2002. "Dysfunctional Effects of League Tables: A Comparison Between English and Scottish Primary Schools," Public Money & Management, Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, vol. 22(1), pages 43-48, 01.
  3. Randall Reback & Julie Berry Cullen, 2006. "Tinkering toward accolades: School gaming under a performance accountability system," Working Papers 0601, Barnard College, Department of Economics.
  4. Glennerster, Howard, 1991. "Quasi-markets for Education?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(408), pages 1268-76, September.
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