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School responsiveness to quality ranking: An empirical analysis of secondary education in the Netherlands

As from 1997, the national newspaper Trouw has published quality scores of secondary schools in every year, using information of the schools inspectorate on, amongst other things, the average grades at the final examinations and the throughput of pupils in lower forms. How do schools respond to the publication of the rankings? We contribute to the literature in two respects. First, the current analysis is the first to address the impact of quality scores that have been published by a newspaper (Trouw), rather than public interventions that aim to track and improve failing schools. Second, our research design exploits the substantial lags in the registration and publication of the Trouw scores and takes into account all possible outcomes of the ratings, instead of the lowest category only. Overall, we find evidence that school quality performance does respond to the Trouw quality scores. Both average grades increase and the number of diplomas go up after receiving a negative score. These responses cannot be attributed to gaming activities of the school board, as an improvement is also observed in the gaming-proof quality indicators. For schools that receive the most negative ranking, the short-term effects (one year after a change in the ranking of schools) of quality transparency on final exam grades equal 10% to 30% of a standard deviation compared to the average of this variable. The long-run effects are roughly equal to the short-term effects.

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Paper provided by CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis in its series CPB Discussion Paper with number 149.

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Date of creation: May 2010
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Handle: RePEc:cpb:discus:149
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  1. Steven G. Craig & Scott Imberman & Adam Perdue, 2009. "Does It Pay To Get An A? School Resource Allocations In Response To Accountability Ratings," Working Papers 2009-04, Department of Economics, University of Houston.
  2. Justine S. Hastings & Jeffrey M. Weinstein, 2007. "Information, School Choice, and Academic Achievement: Evidence from Two Experiments," NBER Working Papers 13623, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Eric A. Hanushek & Margaret E. Raymond, 2004. "Does School Accountability Lead to Improved Student Performance?," NBER Working Papers 10591, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Thomas S. Dee & Brian Jacob, 2011. "The impact of no Child Left Behind on student achievement," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(3), pages 418-446, 06.
  5. Jonah E. Rockoff & Lesley J. Turner, 2008. "Short Run Impacts of Accountability on School Quality," NBER Working Papers 14564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. 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 251-81, May.
  7. Elbert Dijkgraaf & Raymond H.J.M. Gradus & Matthijs de Jong, 2009. "Competition and Educational Quality: Evidence from The Netherlands," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 09-100/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  8. Eric A. Hanushek & Margaret E. Raymond, 2004. "The Effect of School Accountability Systems on the Level and Distribution of Student Achievement," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(2-3), pages 406-415, 04/05.
  9. Figlio, David N. & Rouse, Cecilia Elena, 2006. "Do accountability and voucher threats improve low-performing schools?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1-2), pages 239-255, January.
  10. Pope, Devin G., 2009. "Reacting to rankings: Evidence from "America's Best Hospitals"," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 1154-1165, December.
  11. Richard Blundell & Monica Costa Dias, 2009. "Alternative Approaches to Evaluation in Empirical Microeconomics," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(3).
  12. David N. Figlio & Maurice E. Lucas, 2004. "What's in a Grade? School Report Cards and the Housing Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 591-604, June.
  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.
  14. Marigee Bacolod & John DiNardo & Mireille Jacobson, 2009. "Beyond Incentives: Do Schools use Accountability Rewards Productively?," NBER Working Papers 14775, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Randall Reback & Julie Berry Cullen, 2006. "Tinkering toward accolades: School gaming under a performance accountability system," Working Papers 0601, Barnard College, Department of Economics.
  16. Koning, Pierre & van der Wiel, Karen, 2010. "Ranking the Schools: How Quality Information Affects School Choice in the Netherlands," IZA Discussion Papers 4984, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  17. repec:mpr:mprres:6364 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. David N. Figlio & Lawrence S. Getzler, 2002. "Accountability , Ability and Disability: Gaming the System," NBER Working Papers 9307, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. 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.
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