Short-Run Impacts of Accountability on School Quality

Jonah Rockoff and Lesley J. Turner , American Economic Journal: Economic Policy 2(4) , 119-147 , November 2010.

In the fall of 2007, New York City began using student tests and other measures to assign each school a grade (A to F), and linked grades to rewards and consequences, including possible school closure. These grades were released in late September, arguably too late for schools to make major changes in programs or personnel, and students were tested again in January (English) and March (math). Despite this time frame, regression discontinuity estimates indicate that receipt of a low grade significantly increased student achievement, more so in math than English, and improved parental evaluations of school quality. 

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