A New Horizon? The Effect of a National Education Reform on Student Achievement and the Academic Environment
50 Pages Posted: 15 Sep 2022
This study analyzes the effect of a whole-school national educational reform in Israel on student achievements and the academic environment in schools. The New Horizon reform was initiated by the Ministry of Education and gradually implemented in elementary schools beginning in 2008. The reform increased the time teachers spend in school, added more small-group instruction time (individual hours), increased teachers’ and principals’ salaries, and established higher requirements and incentives for professional development. We use a staggered difference-in-differences approach to evaluate the effects of the reform on student achievement and on the school learning environment. We show that over the three years following introduction of the reform, test scores rose in math and English, and improvements were seen in various aspects of the school learning environment. The main mechanisms for the findings are suggested to be more small-group learning, better working conditions for some subject teachers, and an increase in the number of hours that teachers spend in school.
Keywords: School reform, student achievements, school learning environment
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