Main Article Content
Few studies have analyzed the effect of the drivers of school performance over time. This research investigates how school-level student characteristics, such as funding and student-teacher ratio, influence school academic performance in the short-term and in long-term, a key differentiating feature of this work from other studies. Our focus is on the U.S. state of Georgia, but the setting of Georgia is the same as settings throughout the U.S.: considerable variation between schools in achievement and resources. In this study, school performance is defined as the proportion of students that meet or exceed benchmarks on end of year exams. Study findings indicate that teacher experience, measured by average number of years teaching, and student-teacher ratio exhibit the largest effect in both the short and long-term. Poverty rate exhibited a strong negative effect on school performance, confirming previous studies. However, poverty rate had the most impact in the STEM subjects of math and science. School funding did not show any significant effect in school performance in the short-term, but a significant positive effect in the long-term, such that increased school funding per pupil improved school performance in future years. Our results indicate that investing resources to increase the number of teachers and hiring teachers with more experience can be economically more effective than simply increasing the per-pupil spending, at least in the short-term.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
- Greer L. Common Core standards, 2013. http://www.senate.ga.gov/sro/Documents/AtIssue/atissue_June13.pdf
- Owens S. Beyond basic education: Five ways for Georgia to fund schools fairly, 2018. https://cdn.gbpi.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Beyond-Basic-Education-Five-Ways-for-Georgia-to-Fund-Schools-Fairly.pdf
- Suggs C. Tackle poverty’s effects to improve school performance, 2017. https://cdn.gbpi.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Tackle-Poverty-in-Schools.pdf
- Baker B, Farrie D, Johnson M, et al. Is school funding fair? A national report card. Sixth edition. Newark: Education Law Center, Graduate School of Education, Rutgers University, 2017.
- Owens S. Georgia education budget primer for state fiscal year 2020, 2019a. https://gbpi.org/2019/georgia-education-budget-primer-for-state-fiscal-year-2020/
- Summers A and Wolfe B. Do schools make a difference? The American Economic Review, 1977, 67: 639-652. https://www.jstor.org/stable/1813396
- Hanushek E. The Economics of schooling: Production and efficiency in public schools. Journal of Economic Literature, 1986, 24: 1141-1177. www.jstor.org/stable/2725865
- Zimmer R and Toms E. Peer effects in private and public schools across countries. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 2000, 19: 75-92. https://doi.org/10.1002/(SICI)1520-6688(200024)19:1h75::AID-PAM5i3.0.CO;2-W
- Bowles T and Bosworth R. Scale economies in public education: Evidence from school level data. Journal of Education Finance, 2002, 28: 285-299. www.jstor.org/stable/40704168
- De Bartolome C. Equilibrium and inefficiency in a community model with peer group effects. Journal of Political Economy, 1990, 98: 110-133. www.jstor.org/stable/2937644
- Owens S. Overview: 2020 fiscal year budget for K-12 Education, 2019b. https://cdn.gbpi.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/2020K12budgetoverview-FINAL.pdf
- Reardon S. The Widening Academic Achievement Gap Between the Rich and the Poor: New Evidence and Possible Explanations, New York: Russell Sage Foundation Press. 2011.
- Bjorklund-Young A. Does Money Matter? Hanushek, Jackson, and the Questions We Ask. Baltimore: Institute for Education Policy, School of Education, Johns Hopkins University, 2017.
- Jackson C, Johnson R and Persico C. The effects of school spending on educational and economic outcomes: Evidence from school finance reforms. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2016, 131: 157-218. https://doi.org/10.1093/qje/qjv036
- Blatchford P, Bassett P and Brown P. Examining the effect of class size on classroom engagement and teacher pupil interaction: Differences in relation to pupil prior attainment and primary vs. secondary schools. Learning and Instruction, 2011, 21: 715-730. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.learninstruc.2011.04.001
- Van Hek M, Kraaykamp G and Perzer B. Do schools affect girls and boys reading performance differently? A multilevel study on the gendered effects of school resources and school practices. School Effectiveness and School Improvement, 2018, 29(1): 1-28. https://doi.org10.1080/09243453.2017.1382540
- Card D and Krueger A. School quality and the return to education, in Gary Burtless (ed.) Does Money Matter? Effect of School Resources on Student Achievement and Adult Success. Massachusetts: Brookings Institute Press, 1996.
- Hirn R, Hollow A and Scott T. Exploring instructional differences and school performance in high-poverty elementary schools. Preventing School Failure: Alternative Education for Children and Youth, 2017, 62(1): 37-48. https://doi.org/10.1080/1045988X.2017.1329197
- Keele L and Kelly N. Dynamic models for dynamic theories: the ins and outs of lagged dependent variables. Political Analysis, 2006, 14: 186-205. www.jstor.org/stable/25791844
- Hamilton J. Time Series Analysis, Princeton: Princeton University Press. 1994.
- Angrist J and Pischke J. Mostly Harmless Econometrics, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2010.
- Guryan J. Desegregation and black dropout rates. The American Economic Review, 2004, 94: 919-943. http://doi.org/10.1257/0002828042002679
- Greene WH. Econometric Analysis, Harlow: Pearson Education Limited, 2010.
- Gravelle H, Jacobs R, Jones A, et al. Comparing the Efficiency of National Health Systems: Econometric Analysis Should Be Handled With Care. York: University of York Press, 2002.
- Deaton A. The Analysis of Household Surveys: A Microeconometric Approach to Development Policy, Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1997.
- Georgia Department of Education. School system financial report, 2015. https://app3.doe.k12.ga.us/ows-bin/owa/fin_pack_revenue.entry_form?p_fiscal_year=2012
- Georgia Department of Education. CRCT statewide score, 2016a. http://www.gadoe.org/curriculum-instruction-and-assessment/assessment/pages/crct-statewide-scores.aspx
- Georgia Department of Education. School nutrition program, schools participating in cep (SY 2015-16) as of September 1 2015, 2016b. http://snp.wpgadoe.org/units/rtau/community-eligibility-provision/cep-percentages-2016-2018/
- Governor’s Office of Student Achievement.Downloadable data, 2016. https://gosa.georgia.gov/downloadable-data
- National Center of Education Statistics. Public elementary/ secondary universe survey data, 2016. https://nces.ed.gov/ccd/pubschuniv.asp
- Snyder T and Musu-Gillette L. Free or reduced-price lunch: A proxy for poverty? National Center for Educational Statistics blog post, 2015. https://nces.ed.gov/blogs/nces/post/free-or-reduced-pricelunch-a-proxy-for-poverty
- StataCorp. Stata Statistical Software: Release 13. College Station, TX: StataCorp LP,2013.
- Roza M. Education Economics: Where Do School Funds Go? Washington, D. C.: Urban Institute Press, 2010.
- Nye B, Hedges L and Konstantopoulos S. The effects of small classes on academic achievement: The results of the Tennessee class size experiment. American Educational Research Journal, 2000, 37(10): 123-151. www.jstor.org/stable/1163474
- Lareau A and Goyette KA. Choosing Homes, Choosing Schools. New York, NY: Russell Sage Foundation, 2014.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics. BLS data viewer [data file], 2016. https://beta.bls.gov/dataViewer/view/timeseries/CUSR0000SA0;jsessionid=12A79D60522575A5105513FBF17C9D5B
- Partelow L, Spong A, Brown C, et al. America needs more teachers of color and a more selective teaching profession, 2017. https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/education-k-12/reports/2017/09/14/437667/america-needs-teachers-colorselective-teaching-profession/