Who Wins and Who Loses from School Accountability? The Distribution of Educational Gain in English Secondary Schools

40 Pages Posted: 27 Oct 2005

See all articles by Simon M. Burgess

Simon M. Burgess

University of Bristol - Department of Economics; University of Bristol - Leverhulme Centre for Market and Public Organisation (CMPO); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Carol Propper

Imperial College London Business School; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); University of Bristol - Leverhulme Centre for Market and Public Organisation (CMPO)

Helen Slater

University of Bristol - Department of Economics

Deborah Wilson

University of Bristol - Department of Economics

Date Written: September 2005

Abstract

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.

Keywords: School accountability, high stakes exams, educational value added

JEL Classification: D230, I200, I280

Suggested Citation

Burgess, Simon and Propper, Carol and Slater, Helen and Wilson, Deborah, Who Wins and Who Loses from School Accountability? The Distribution of Educational Gain in English Secondary Schools (September 2005). CEPR Discussion Paper No. 5248. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=837284

Simon Burgess (Contact Author)

University of Bristol - Department of Economics ( email )

8 Woodland Road
Bristol BS8 ITN
United Kingdom
+44 117 928 8436 (Phone)
+44 117 928 8577 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.bris.ac.uk/Depts/Economics/department/profiles/burgess.htm

University of Bristol - Leverhulme Centre for Market and Public Organisation (CMPO)

12 Priory Road
Bristol BS8 1TN
United Kingdom

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Carol Propper

Imperial College London Business School ( email )

South Kensington Campus
Exhibition Road
London SW7 2AZ, SW7 2AZ
United Kingdom

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

University of Bristol - Leverhulme Centre for Market and Public Organisation (CMPO) ( email )

12 Priory Road
Bristol BS8 1TN
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.bris.ac.uk/Depts/Economics/department/profiles/propper.htm

Helen Slater

University of Bristol - Department of Economics ( email )

8 Woodland Road
Bristol BS8 ITN
United Kingdom
+44 117 928 8424 (Phone)

Deborah Wilson

University of Bristol - Department of Economics ( email )

8 Woodland Road
Bristol BS8 ITN
United Kingdom

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