Unintended Consequences: No Child Left Behind and the Allocation of School Leaders

51 Pages Posted: 5 Apr 2010 Last revised: 17 Jun 2010

See all articles by Danielle Li

Danielle Li

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Date Written: April 4, 2010

Abstract

Relatively little is known about the effect of school accountability on school leadership. This paper investigates the impact of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) on principal mobility and the subsequent distribution of principal quality across schools. Using variation in pre-period student demographics to identify schools that are likely to miss performance targets, I show that NCLB decreases average principal quality at disadvantaged schools by encouraging high ability principals at these schools to migrate to schools less likely to face NCLB sanctions. These results are consistent with a model of principal-school matching in which school districts are unable to compensate principals for the increased likelihood of sanctions at disadvantaged schools.

JEL Classification: I2, J32, J4, J63

Suggested Citation

Li, Danielle, Unintended Consequences: No Child Left Behind and the Allocation of School Leaders (April 4, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1584345 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1584345

Danielle Li (Contact Author)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) ( email )

77 Massachusetts Avenue
50 Memorial Drive
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307
United States

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