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School Accountability, Autonomy and Choice Around the World

Ludger Woessmann, Ifo Institute for Economic Research and University of Munich, Germany, Elke Luedemann, KfW, Germany, Gabriela Schuetz, Ifo Institute for Economic Research, Germany and Martin R. West, Harvard Graduate School of Education, US
Accountability, autonomy and choice are now the watchwords of education reformers around the globe. This book presents new evidence from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) test on whether students perform better in school systems with such institutional measures in place. It also provides a theoretical framework for considering these reforms and summarizes previous international evidence. The results confirm that various policies promoting accountability, autonomy and choice are strongly associated with higher achievement for students from both disadvantaged and advantaged backgrounds. In particular, choice through public funding for private schools is associated with both higher performance overall and higher equality of opportunity.
Extent: 160 pp
Hardback Price: $127.00 Web: $114.30
Publication Date: 2009
ISBN: 978 1 84844 529 1
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  • Economics and Finance
  • Economics of Education
  • Education
  • Economics of Education
Accountability, autonomy and choice are now the watchwords of education reformers around the globe. This book presents new evidence from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) test on whether students perform better in school systems with such institutional measures in place. It also provides a theoretical framework for considering these reforms and summarizes previous international evidence. The results confirm that various policies promoting accountability, autonomy and choice are strongly associated with higher achievement for students from both disadvantaged and advantaged backgrounds. In particular, choice through public funding for private schools is associated with both higher performance overall and higher equality of opportunity.

Providing detailed and rich facets of different forms of accountability, autonomy and choice, this book is unique in its empirically based and internationally oriented treatment of this up-to-date policy topic. It will be of great interest to academics, policy-makers and practitioners, as well as students in education policy and in the economics of education.
‘. . . the book is a valuable contribution to the literature by thoroughly analyzing the PISA 2003. Its analysis will be very important to future students and researchers as more international data sets become available to researchers.’
– Lisa M. Dickson, Eastern Economic Journal
Contents: 1. Introduction: School Reforms around the World 2. Institutions and Student Achievement: A Basic Model 3. Accountability 4. Autonomy 5. Choice 6. Non-Cognitive Skills 7. Equity 8. Lessons Learned References Index