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School autonomy and educational performance: within-country evidence

Jean Hindriks (), Marijn Verschelde (), Glenn Rayp and Koen Schoors

No 2010082, CORE Discussion Papers from Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE)

Abstract: This paper shows the value of school autonomy for educational performance. To fully capture the informational advantage of local actors, we define school autonomy as the operational empowerment of the principals and teachers. The Flemish secondary school system in Belgium is analyzed as it is has a long history of educational school autonomy, but considerable variation between schools in school staff empowerment. Combining detailed school level and pupil level data from the PISA 2006 study with a semiparametric hierarchical model, we find strong indications that operational school autonomy is associated with high educational performance if appropriate accountability systems are active. Sensitivity tests show that both low and high-performers benefit from this kind of school autonomy.

Keywords: educational performance; PISA; school autonomy; educational production function; semiparametric (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I28 H52 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-edu, nep-lab and nep-ure
Date: 2010-12-01
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