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Evaluating the Stability of School Performance Estimates for School Choice: Evidence for Italian Primary Schools

Tommaso Agasisti () and Veronica Minaya ()
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Veronica Minaya: Politecnico di Milano School of Management

Working papers from Società Italiana di Economia Pubblica

Abstract: School performance estimates have been used worldwide for both high-and low-stakes accountability purposes. It is expected that by evaluating school performance and making these results public, parents will use them to choose schools and schools will be motivated to increase performance. An institutional debate of this kind is likely to start in the near future in Italy, given the growing availability of indicators obtained through standardized test scores in reading and mathematics. Using administrative data provided by INVALSI (National Evaluation Committee for Education), this paper explores the stability of performance estimates for Italian primary schools. We first construct school performance metrics using INVALSI standardized tests and quarterly teacher assessments, by taking advantage of a rich array of individual level variables (including prior achievement) that allow us to estimate a school-effect in a ‘value added’ perspective. We then explore how sensitive school ratings are to the choice of performance metric and the use of different models to account for compositional differences due to students’ socioeconomic background. We also assess both cross-sectional differences in performance across schools and the persistence of these differences across cohorts. We find that school performance estimates are very robust whatever the models employed to control for compositional differences, but they are inconsistent across metrics and cohorts. We conclude that before using this kind of school-effects’ estimates for school choice purposes, more data and research is needed to understand the factors that drives the impact of a specific school on students’ results.

Keywords: accountability; school choice; school value-added (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I21 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-edu, nep-eff, nep-eur and nep-ure
Date: 2018-02
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:ipu:wpaper:67

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