The influence of school size, principal characteristics and school management practices on educational performance: An efficiency analysis of Italian students attending middle schools

Chiara Masci*, Kristof De Witte, Tommaso Agasisti

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

The aim of the paper is to identify which among the aspects that relate to the composition of the student body, school (district) size, management practices and the school principals' own characteristics are associated with the performance of Italian students at grade 8, measured through standardised test scores in reading and mathematics. The analysis makes use of a student-level efficiency model, and several school level variables are included as explanators for efficiency scores. The results show that, especially for reading, the most influential variables relate to the composition of the student body, while the students' performance in mathematics is partly correlated with the management practices adopted by the school principal/head teacher. Schools and schooling can only explain a minor part of the variance in achievement scores, however, and the characteristics of the students themselves play the most significant role. (c) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-69
Number of pages18
JournalSocio-Economic Planning Sciences
Volume61
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018

Keywords

  • Pupils achievement
  • Schools efficiency
  • Management practices
  • Principal characteristics
  • NONPARAMETRIC FRONTIER MODELS
  • INSTRUCTIONAL LEADERSHIP
  • DISTRICT SIZE
  • ACHIEVEMENT
  • ECONOMIES
  • MATTER

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