Monday, February 28, 2011

More Information = Better Schools

by Andrew Gillen

Our focus on the 3 I’s of higher ed reform (incentives, information, and innovation), just got another boost today. From the Economic Logician:
Publish school performance information!

Simon Burgess, Deborah Wilson and Jack Worth exploit a natural experiment in Britain: Wales suppressed the publication of school rankings in 2001, while England kept it. Using a difference-in-difference analysis, they show, oh surprise, that the performance of Welsh students regressed significantly, based on national exams… What is then a good argument for withholding school performance information?
There are a series of vigorous debates over how schools should be ranked, the role of government, etc. But as the evidence continues to trickle in, it is getting harder and harder to argue that there is little benefit in providing more information.

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