Leanna Stiefel

Leanna Stiefel
Professor of Economics

Leanna Stiefel, Professor of Economics, teaches courses in multiple regression and economics of education. Her areas of expertise are school finance and education policy, applied economics and applied statistics. Some of her current and recent research projects include: costs of small high schools in New York City; the effects of student mobility on academic performance; the effects of housing instability on academic performance; and segregation, resource use and achievement of immigrant school children. She is author of Statistical Analysis for Public and Non-Profit Managers (1990) and co-author of Measuring School Performance and Efficiency: Implications for Practice and Research (2005) as well as The Measurement of Equity in School Finance (1984), and her work appears in journals and edited books. She is past president of the American Education Finance Association, past member of the policy council of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM), and a past governor on the New York State Education Finance Research Consortium. She has been a consultant for organizations such as the National Science Foundation, the Education Commission of the States, the New York ACLU, and the Campaign for Fiscal Equity. She received her Ph.D. in economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1972), her AB degree with high honors from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor (1967), and holds an Advanced Professional Certificate in Finance from New York University's Stern School of Business (1984).

Semester Course
Spring 2014 PADM-GP.2902.001 Multiple Regression and Intro to Econometrics

Multiple regression is the core statistical technique used by policy and finance analysts in their work. In this course, you will learn how to use and interpret this critical statistical technique. Specifically you will learn how to evaluate whether regression coefficients are biased, whether standard errors (and thus t statistics) are valid, and whether regressions used in policy and finance studies support causal arguments.

In addition, using a number of different datasets, you will compute the statistics discussed in class using a statistical computer package, and you will see how the results reflect the concepts discussed in class. If you choose, you can do a larger data and regression project in a team.


Download Syllabus
Fall 2013 PADM-GP.2441.001 The Economics of Education: Policy and Finance

Reforming education policy and finance are at the center of intense debates at all levels of government, driven in part by the recognition of the central role that education plays in the economy. Education affects the productivity of the labor force, the distribution of income, economic growth, and individuals’ earnings and quality of life. This course uses economic principles to analyze K-12 education. The course begins with an examination of the demand for education, both by the private sector (particularly individuals) and the public sector. Next, we consider the production (including teachers as an input) and supply and cost of education. Finally, we turn to the financing of K-12 education in the United States.

The class will be run as a seminar in which we will discuss the content of the assigned readings and try to make recommendations that are empirically and theoretically justified on economic grounds for achieving high performance in elementary and secondary education.


Download Syllabus
Spring 2013 PADM-GP.2902.001 Multiple Regression and Intro to Econometrics

Multiple regression is the core statistical technique used by policy and finance analysts in their work. In this course, you will learn how to use and interpret this critical statistical technique. Specifically you will learn how to evaluate whether regression coefficients are biased, whether standard errors (and thus t statistics) are valid, and whether regressions used in policy and finance studies support causal arguments.

In addition, using a number of different datasets, you will compute the statistics discussed in class using a statistical computer package, and you will see how the results reflect the concepts discussed in class. If you choose, you can do a larger data and regression project in a team.


Download Syllabus
Fall 2012 PADM-GP.2441.001 The Economics of Education: Policy and Finance

Reforming education policy and finance are at the center of intense debates at all levels of government, driven in part by the recognition of the central role that education plays in the economy. Education affects the productivity of the labor force, the distribution of income, economic growth, and individuals’ earnings and quality of life. This course uses economic principles to analyze K-12 education. The course begins with an examination of the demand for education, both by the private sector (particularly individuals) and the public sector. Next, we consider the production (including teachers as an input) and supply and cost of education. Finally, we turn to the financing of K-12 education in the United States.

The class will be run as a seminar in which we will discuss the content of the assigned readings and try to make recommendations that are empirically and theoretically justified on economic grounds for achieving high performance in elementary and secondary education.


Download Syllabus
Spring 2012 PADM-GP.2902.001 Multiple Regression and Intro to Econometrics

Multiple regression is the core statistical technique used by policy and finance analysts in their work. In this course, you will learn how to use and interpret this critical statistical technique. Specifically you will learn how to evaluate whether regression coefficients are biased, whether standard errors (and thus t statistics) are valid, and whether regressions used in policy and finance studies support causal arguments.

In addition, using a number of different datasets, you will compute the statistics discussed in class using a statistical computer package, and you will see how the results reflect the concepts discussed in class. If you choose, you can do a larger data and regression project in a team.


Download Syllabus
Fall 2011 PADM-GP.2902.001 Multiple Regression and Intro to Econometrics

Multiple regression is the core statistical technique used by policy and finance analysts in their work. In this course, you will learn how to use and interpret this critical statistical technique. Specifically you will learn how to evaluate whether regression coefficients are biased, whether standard errors (and thus t statistics) are valid, and whether regressions used in policy and finance studies support causal arguments.

In addition, using a number of different datasets, you will compute the statistics discussed in class using a statistical computer package, and you will see how the results reflect the concepts discussed in class. If you choose, you can do a larger data and regression project in a team.


Download Syllabus
Fall 2010 PADM-GP.2902.001 Multiple Regression and Intro to Econometrics

Multiple regression is the core statistical technique used by policy and finance analysts in their work. In this course, you will learn how to use and interpret this critical statistical technique. Specifically you will learn how to evaluate whether regression coefficients are biased, whether standard errors (and thus t statistics) are valid, and whether regressions used in policy and finance studies support causal arguments.

In addition, using a number of different datasets, you will compute the statistics discussed in class using a statistical computer package, and you will see how the results reflect the concepts discussed in class. If you choose, you can do a larger data and regression project in a team.


Download Syllabus
Spring 2010 PADM-GP.2902.001 Multiple Regression and Intro to Econometrics

Multiple regression is the core statistical technique used by policy and finance analysts in their work. In this course, you will learn how to use and interpret this critical statistical technique. Specifically you will learn how to evaluate whether regression coefficients are biased, whether standard errors (and thus t statistics) are valid, and whether regressions used in policy and finance studies support causal arguments.

In addition, using a number of different datasets, you will compute the statistics discussed in class using a statistical computer package, and you will see how the results reflect the concepts discussed in class. If you choose, you can do a larger data and regression project in a team.


Download Syllabus
Fall 2009 PADM-GP.2441.001 The Economics of Education: Policy and Finance

Reforming education policy and finance are at the center of intense debates at all levels of government, driven in part by the recognition of the central role that education plays in the economy. Education affects the productivity of the labor force, the distribution of income, economic growth, and individuals’ earnings and quality of life. This course uses economic principles to analyze K-12 education. The course begins with an examination of the demand for education, both by the private sector (particularly individuals) and the public sector. Next, we consider the production (including teachers as an input) and supply and cost of education. Finally, we turn to the financing of K-12 education in the United States.

The class will be run as a seminar in which we will discuss the content of the assigned readings and try to make recommendations that are empirically and theoretically justified on economic grounds for achieving high performance in elementary and secondary education.


Download Syllabus
Date Publication/Paper
2014

Leanna Stiefel 2014. Measuring School Finance Equity using School Finance Statistics Encyclopedia of Education Economics and Finance, editors Dominic Brewer and Lawrence Picus, Sage, CA
Abstract

This entry briefly outlines the origin of school finance statistics and describes the Berne-Stiefel framework for identifying the values of school finance equity.  It then introduces various measures of horizontal, vertical, and taxpayer equity and concludes by highlighting school finance research that utilizes these measures.

2013

Schwartz, A. E., Stiefel, L., & Wiswall, M. 2013. Do Small Schools Improve Performance in Large, Urban Districts? Casual Evidence from New York City Journal of Urban Economics, 77: 27-40
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Abstract

We evaluate the effectivness of small high school reform in the country's largest school district, New York City. Using a rich administrative datasest for multiple cohorts of students and distance between student residence and school to instrument for endogenous school selection, we find substantial heterogeneity in school effects: newly created small schools have positive effects of graduation and some other educational outcomes while older small schools do not. Importantly, we show that ignoring this source of treatment effect heterogeneity by assuming a common small school effect yields a misleading zero effect of small school attendance.

2012

Ellen, I.G., O'Regan, K., Schwartz, A.E. & Stiefel, L. 2012. Racial Segregation in Multiethnic Schools: Adding Immigrants to the Analysis In William Tate, Ed., Research on Schools, Neighborhoods and Communities: Toward Civic Responsibility. Rowman and Littlefield Publishing. 2012, pp. 67-82.
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Abstract

Racial segregation in America's schools remains persistently and disturbingly high, despite decades of institutional and policy changes. This paper considers one recent change common to many urban school districts - immigration - and examines whether and how the presence of a large number of immigrant students affects racial segregation. Exploiting a student-level data set including all elementary and middle school students in New York City's public schools, sixteen percent of whom are immigrants, we conduct a series of descriptive and exploratory analysis of possible avenues of influence. While it is unclear ex ante, both theoretically and compositionally, whether the presence of immigrants should increase or decrease inter-racial interaction, our results point to a decrease. Racial stratification of foreign-born students is generally higher than that of their native-born counterparts, and this is not solely attributable to income or language-skill differences. And while this heightened segregation decreases with time in the school system, the foreign-born/native-born differential is never eliminated. Importantly, we do find that there are very large differences within the immigrant population. Thus, the effect of immigrants on patterns of racial interaction in any district will depend crucially not only on the race of the immigrants, but also on their particular country of origin.

2011

Bean, Vicky, Ingrid Ellen, Amy Ellen Schwartz, Leanna Stiefel and Meryle Weinstein 2011. Does Losing Your Home Mean Losing Your School? Effects of Foreclosure on the School Mobility of Children Regional Science and Urban Economics, 41(4), 2011: 407-414.
Abstract

In the last few years, millions of homes around the country have entered foreclosure, pushing many families out of their homes and potentially forcing their children to move to new schools. Unfortunately, despite considerable attention to the causes and consequences of mortgage defaults, we understand little about the distribution and severity of these impacts on school children. This paper takes a step toward filling that gap through studying how foreclosures in New York City affect the mobility of public school children across schools. A significant body of research suggests that, in general, switching schools is costly for students, though the magnitude of the effect depends critically on the nature of the move and the quality of the origin and destination schools.

Chellman, Colin, Ingrid Ellen, Brian McCabe, Amy Ellen Schwartz and Leanna Stiefel 2011. Does Municipally Subsidized Housing Improve School Quality? Evidence from New York City Journal of the American Planning Association, 77 (2): 127-141.
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Abstract

Problem: Policymakers and community development practitioners view increasing subsidized owner-occupied housing as a mechanism to improve urban neighborhoods, but little research studies the impact of such investments on community amenities.

Purpose: We examine the impact of subsidized owner-occupied housing on the quality of local schools and compare them to the impacts of city investments in rental units.

Methods: Using data from the New York City Department of Education (DOE) and the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), we estimate three main sets of regressions, exploring student characteristics, school resources, and school outcomes.

Results and conclusions: The completion of subsidized owner-occupied housing is associated with a decrease in schools’ percentage of free-lunch eligible students, an increase in schools’ percentage of White students, and, controlling for these compositional changes, an increase in scores on standardized reading and math exams. By contrast, our results suggest that investments in rental housing have little, if any, effect.

Takeaway for practice: Policies promoting the construction of subsidized owner-occupied housing have solidified in local governments around the country. Our research provides reassurance to policymakers and planners who are concerned about the spillover effects of subsidized, citywide investments beyond the households being directly served. It suggests that benefits from investments in owner occupancy may extend beyond the individual level, with an increase in subsidized owner-occupancy bringing about improvements in neighborhood school quality.

Denison, Dwight, William Hartman, Leanna Stiefel and Michele Deegan 2011. School Cost Accounting: What Do We Know and How Do We Get There? Public Performance & Management Review, 35 (1): 29-53.
Abstract

This paper describes a model for assessing and reporting schoollevel resources. State and local decision-makers have been seeking ways to obtain such information for more than a decade, but there is as yet no easy, accessible way to do so and no way to satisfy both internal and external users of the information. The model, based on case studies in Pennsylvania (with successful replication in New York), resolves many of the issues. The seven principles that guide the model are explained, challenges in developing school-level reports are generalized, and resolutions to the challenges in three states are compared. The conclusion draws out implications for the future of regularly collected school resource data.

Conger, Dylan, Leanna Stiefel, and Amy Ellen Schwartz 2011. The Effect of Immigrant Communities on Foreign-Born Student Achievement International Migration Review, 45(3):675-701
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Abstract

This paper explores the effect of the human capital characteristics of co-ethnic immigrant communities on foreign-born students’ math achievement. We use data on New York City public school foreign-born students from 39 countries merged with census data on the characteristics of the immigrant household heads in the city from each nation of origin and estimate regressions of student achievement on co-ethnic immigrant community characteristics, controlling for student and school attributes. We find that the income and size of the co-ethnic immigrant community has no effect on immigrant student achievement, while the percent of college graduates may have a small positive effect. In addition, children in highly English proficient immigrant communities test slightly lower than children from less proficient communities. The results suggest that there may be some protective factors associated with immigrant community members’ education levels and use of native languages.

Schwartz, Amy Ellen, Leanna Stiefel, Ross Rubenstein, and Jeffrey Zabel 2011. The Path Not Taken: How Does School Organization Affect 8th Grade Achievement? Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 33 (3): 293-317
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Abstract

Although rearranging school organizational features is a popular school reform, little research exists to inform policymakers about how grade spans affect achievement. This article examines how grade spans and the school transitions that students make between fourth and eighth grade shape student performance in eighth grade. The authors estimate the impact of grade span paths on eighth grade performance, controlling for school and student characteristics and correcting for attrition bias and quality of original school. They find that students moving from K-4 to 5-8 schools outperform students on other paths. Results suggest four possible explanations for the findings- the number and timing of school changes, the size of within-school cohorts, and the stability of peer cohorts.

Stiefel, Amy Ellen Schwartz and Anne Rotenberg 2011. What Do AEFA Members Say? Summary of Results of an Education Finance and Policy Survey Education Finance and Policy, 6 (2): 267-292
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Abstract

In the spring of 2008 the authors surveyed members of the American Education Finance Association (AEFA) to gain insight into their views on education policy issues. The results summarize opinions of this broad group of education researchers and practitioners, providing AEFA members and education leaders with access to views that may be helpful as they consider policies to analyze or pursue. This article reports the results in six areas of current policy interest. How should education aid be distributed? Is school choice a good thing? Does school finance reform work? What has accountability wrought? Can school policies close the black-white achievement gap? And how should teachers be compensated? Our findings identify areas of substantial agreement as well as areas where there is disagreement. For example, there is considerable agreement that state and federal governments should provide additional funding for disadvantaged students but disagreement on how to measure school finance adequacy.

2010

Stiefel, Leanna, Amy Ellen Schwartz, and Dylan Conger 2010. Age of Entry and the High School Performance of Immigrant Youth Journal of Urban Economics 67: 303-314
Abstract

In 2005, immigrants exceeded 12% of the US population, with the highest concentrations in large metropolitan areas. While considerable research has focused on how immigrants affect local wages and housing prices, less research has asked how immigrants fare in US urban public schools. Previous studies find that foreign-born students outperform native-born students in their elementary and middle school years, but urban policymakers and practitioners continue to raise concerns about educational outcomes of immigrants arriving in their high school years.

The authors use data on a large cohort of New York City (NYC) public high school students to examine how the performance of students who immigrate during high school (teen immigrants) differs from that of students who immigrate during middle school (tween immigrants) or elementary school (child immigrants), relative to otherwise similar native-born students. Contrary to prior studies, their difference-in-difference estimates suggest that, ceteris paribus, teen immigrants do well compared to native-born migrants, and that the foreign-born advantage is relatively large among the teen (im)migrants. That said, their findings provide cause for concern about the performance of limited English proficient students, blacks and Hispanics and, importantly, teen migrants. In particular, switching school districts in the high school years - that is, student mobility across school districts - may be more detrimental than immigration per se. Results are robust to alternative specifications and cohorts, including a cohort of Miami students.

 

2009

Stiefel, L., Schwartz, A.E., Iatarola, P. & Chellman, C. 2009. Mission Matters: The Cost of Small High Schools Revisited Economics of Education Review,
Abstract

With the financial support of several large foundations and the federal government, creating small schools has become a prominent high school reform strategy in many large American cities. While some research supports this strategy, little research assesses the relative costs of these smaller schools. We use data on over 200 New York City high schools, from 1996 through 2003, to estimate school cost functions relating per pupil expenditures to school size, controlling for school output and quality, student characteristics, and school organization. We find that the structure of costs differs across schools depending upon mission-comprehensive or themed. At their current levels of outputs, themed schools minimize per pupil costs at smaller enrollments than comprehensive schools, but these optimally sized themed schools also cost more per pupil than optimally sized comprehensive schools. We also find that both themed and comprehensive high schools at actual sizes are smaller than their optimal sizes.

Rubenstein, R. & Schwartz, A.E., Stiefel, L., Zabel, J. 2009. Spending, Size, and Grade Span in K-8 Schools Education Finance and Policy, 4(1): 60-88
Abstract

Reorganizing primary school grade spans is a tractable and relatively inexpensive school reform. However, assessing the effects of reorganization requires also examining other organizational changes that may accompany grade span reforms. Using data on New York City public schools from 1996 to 2002 and exploiting within-school variations, we examine relationships among grade span, spending, and size. We find that school grade span is associated with differences in school size, class size, and grade size, though generally not with spending and other resources. In addition, we find class size and grade size differences in the same grade level at schools with different configurations, suggesting that school grade span affects not only school size but also class size and grade size. We find few relationships, though, between grade span and school-level performance, pointing to the need to augment these analyses with pupil-level data. We conclude with implications for research and practice.

2008

Ingrid Ellen, Amy Allen Schwartz, Leanna Stiefel 2008. Do Economically Integrated Neighborhoods Have Economically Integrated Schools? Howard Wial, Ha; Wolman and Margery Austin Turner, Eds, Urban and Regional Policy and it's Effects. Washington, DC: Urban Institute Press, pp 191-205.
Abstract

The goal of this book, the first in a series, is to bring policymakers, practitioners, and scholars up to speed on the state of knowledge on various aspects of urban and regional policy. What do we know about the effectiveness of select policy approaches, reforms, or experiments on key social and economic problems facing cities, suburbs, and metropolitan areas? What can we say about what works, what doesn’t, and why? And what does this knowledge and experience imply for future policy questions?

The authors take a fresh look at several different issues (e.g., economic development, education, land use) and conceptualize how each should be thought of. Once the contributors have presented the essence of what is known, as well as the likely implications, they identify the knowledge gaps that need to be filled for the successful formulation and implementation of urban and regional policy.

Rubenstein, R. & Ballal, S., Stiefel, L., Schwartz, A.E. 2008. Equity and Accountability: The Impact of State Accountability Systems on School Finance Journal of Public Budgeting & Finance, 28 (3): 1-22
Abstract

Using an 11-year panel data set containing information on revenues, expenditures, and demographics for every school district in the United States, we examine the effects of state-adopted school accountability systems on the adequacy and equity of school resources. We find little relationship between state implementation of accountability systems and changes in school finance equity, though we do find evidence that states in which courts overturned the school finance system during the decade exhibited significant equity improvements. Additionally, while implementation of accountability per se does not appear linked to changes in resource adequacy, states that implemented strong accountability systems did experience improvements.

Iatarola, P. & Schwartz, A.E., Stiefel, L., Chellman, C. 2008. Measuring School Efficiency: Lessons from Economics, Implications for Practice Teachers College Record, Volume 110 Number 9.
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Abstract

High school reform is currently at the top of the education policy making agenda after years of stagnant achievement and persistent racial and income test score gaps. Although a number of reforms offer some promise of improving U.S. high schools, small schools have emerged as the favored reform model, especially in urban areas, garnering substantial financial investments from both the private and public sectors. In the decade following 1993, the number of high schools in New York City nearly doubled, as new "small" schools opened and large high schools were reorganized into smaller learning communities. The promise of small schools to improve academic engagement, school culture, and, ultimately, student performance has drawn many supporters. However, educators, policy makers, and researchers have raised concerns about the unintended consequences of these new small schools and the possibility that students "left behind" in large, established high schools are incurring negative impacts.

Using 10 years (1993-2003) of data on New York City high schools, we examine the potential systemic effects of small schools that have been identified by critics and researchers.

 

Iatarola, P. & Schwartz, A.E., Stiefel, L., Chellman, C. 2008. Small Schools, Large Districts: Small School Reform and New York City’s Students Teachers College Record,
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Abstract

High school reform is currently at the top of the education policy making agenda after years of stagnant achievement and persistent racial and income test score gaps. Although a number of reforms offer some promise of improving U.S. high schools, small schools have emerged as the favored reform model, especially in urban areas, garnering substantial financial investments from both the private and public sectors. In the decade following 1993, the number of high schools in New York City nearly doubled, as new "small" schools opened and large high schools were reorganized into smaller learning communities. The promise of small schools to improve academic engagement, school culture, and, ultimately, student performance has drawn many supporters. However, educators, policy makers, and researchers have raised concerns about the unintended consequences of these new small schools and the possibility that students "left behind" in large, established high schools are incurring negative impacts.

2007

Schwartz, A.E., Conger, D. & Stiefel, L. 2007. Immigrant and Native-born Differences in School Stability and Special Education: Evidence from New York City International Migration Review, June 2007, Volume 41, Number 2, pp. 403-432(30).
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Abstract

Using the literature on achievement differences as a framework and motivation, along with data on New York City students, we examine nativity differences in students' rates of attendance, school mobility, school system exit, and special education participation. The results indicate that, holding demographic and school characteristics constant, foreign-born have higher attendance rates and lower rates of participation in special education than native-born. Among first graders, immigrants are also more likely to transfer schools and exit the school system between years than native-born, yet the patterns are different among older students. We also identify large variation according to birth region.

Stiefel, L., Schwartz, A.E., Gould & I.E. 2007. Can Public Schools Close the Race Gap? Probing the Evidence in a Large Urban School District Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 26(1): 7-30.
Abstract

We examine the size and distribution of the gap in test scores across races within New York City public schools and the factors that explain these gaps. While gaps are partially explained by differences in student characteristics, such as poverty, differences in schools attended are also important. At the same time, substantial within-school gaps remain and are only partly explained by differences in academic preparation across students from different race groups. Controlling for differences in classrooms attended explains little of the remaining gap, suggesting little role for within-school inequities in resources. There is some evidence that school characteristics matter. Race gaps are negatively correlated with school size - implying small schools may be helpful. In addition, the trade-off between the size and experience of the teaching staff in urban schools may carry unintended consequences for within-school race gaps.

Rubenstein, R. & Schwartz, A.E., Stiefel, L. 2007. From Districts to Schools: The Distribution of Resources across Schools in Big City School Districts Economics of Education Review, 26: 532-545.
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Abstract

This paper explores the determinants of resource allocation across schools in large districts and examines options for improving resource distribution patterns. Previous research on intra-district allocations consistently reveals resource disparities across schools within districts, particularly in the distribution of teachers. While overall expenditures are sometimes related to the characteristics of students in schools, the ratio of teachers per pupil is consistently larger in high-poverty, high-minority and low-performing schools. These teachers, though, generally have lower experience and education levels - and consequently, lower salaries - as compared to teachers in more advantaged schools. We explore these patterns in New York City,  Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio by estimating de facto expenditure equations relating resource measures to school and student characteristics. Consistent with previous research, we find schools that have higher percentages
of poor pupils receive more money and have more teachers per pupil, but the teachers tend to be less educated and less well paid, with a particularly consistent pattern in New York City schools. The paper concludes with policy options for changing intradistrict resource distributions in order to promote more efficient, more equitable or more effective use of resources. These options include allocating dollars rather than teacher positions to schools, providing teacher pay differentials in hard-to-staff schools and subjects, and adapting current district-based funding formulas to the school (and student) level.

Downes, T. & Stiefel, L. 2007. Measuring Equity and Adequacy in School Finance Handbook of Research in Education Finance and Policy. Edited by Ladd, Helen F. and Ted Fiske. Laurence Erlbaum Associates, New York,
Abstract

The Handbook traces the evolution of the field from its initial focus on school inputs (per pupil expenditures) and the revenue sources (property taxes, state aid programs, etc) used to finance these inputs to a focus on educational outcomes (student achievement) and the larger policies used to achieve them. It shows how the current decision-making context in school finance inevitably interacts with those of governance, accountability, equity, privatization, and other areas of education policy. Because a full understanding of the important contemporary issues requires inputs from a variety of perspectives, the Handbook draws on contributors from a variety of disciplines.

Schwartz, A.E., Stiefel, L. & Chellman, C.C. 2007. So Many Children Left Behind: Segregation and the Impact of Subgroup Reporting in No Child Left Behind on the Racial Test Score Gap Educational Policy, v21 n3 p527-550.
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Abstract

Although the No Child Left Behind Act was intended to help "all students meet high academic standards," it is focused on subgroups of low-achieving students. The authors analyze the possible impact of the legislation's requirement for performance reporting by racial subgroup in light of the considerable racial segregation in U.S. schools. In particular, using data on elementary and middle schools in New York State, the authors show that the schools are so highly segregated that more than half are too homogeneous to report test scores for any racial or ethnic subgroups. In addition, they show that the racial achievement gap is greatest across segregated schools rather than within integrated ones. The authors analyze the characteristics of schools that are and are not accountable for subgroups, finding that urban schools and large schools are particularly likely to be accountable, and conclude with implications for the reach of the law and for incentives for school segregation.

2006

Stiefel, L. 2006. Insight from Hindsight: The New Education Finance of the Next Decade Education Finance and Policy, Fall 2006, Vol. 1, No. 4, pp 383-395.
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Abstract

Insight comes from hindsight.  By reviewing enduring problems in education finance and policy, observing what we did right and seeing when we were surprised and why, we can identify research issues that we missed, avoid similar mistakes in the future, and move forward toward work that is even more productive and useful in the field of education finance and policy.

Schwartz, A.E & Bel Hadj Amor, H. & Stiefel, L. 2006. Do Good High Schools Produce Good College Students? Early Evidence From New York City In Advances in Applied Microeconomics, Volume 14, Improving School Accountability: Check-Ups or Choice, edited by T. J. Gronberg and D.W. Jansen,
Abstract

We examine variation in high school and college outcomes across New York City public high schools. Using data on 80,000 students who entered high school in 1998 and following them into the City University of New York, we investigate whether schools that produce successful high school students also produce successful college students. We also explore differences in performance across sex, race, and immigration, and we briefly explore selection issues. Specifically, we estimate student-level regressions with school fixed effects, controlling for student characteristics, to identify better and worse performing schools based on state mandated exams, graduation, and college performance.

Schwartz, A.E. & Stiefel, L. 2006. Is there a Nativity Gap? New Evidence on the Academic Performance of Immigrant Students Education Finance and Policy. Vol. 1, No. 1, Pages 17-49. March 29,
Abstract

Public schools across the United States are educating an increasing number and diversity of immigrant students. Unfortunately, little is known about their performance relative to native-born students and the extent to which the "nativity gap" might be explained by school and demographic characteristics. This article takes a step toward filling that void using data from New York City where 17 percent of elementary and middle school students are immigrants. We explore disparities in performance between foreign-born and native-born students on reading and math tests in three ways�using levels (unadjusted scores), "value-added" scores (adjusted for prior performance), and an education production function. While unadjusted levels and value-added measures often indicate superior performance among immigrants, disparities are substantially explained by student and school characteristics. Further, while the nativity gap differs for students from different world regions, disparities are considerably diminished in fully specified models. We conclude with implications for urban schools in the United States.

Schwartz, A, Kim, D.Y., Stiefel, L. & Zabel, J. 2006. School Efficiency and Student Sub-groups: Is a Good School Good for Everyone? Peabody Journal of Education
Abstract

State and federal accountability reforms are putting considerable pressure on schools to increase the achievement of historically low-performing groups of students and to close test score gaps. In this article, we exploit the differences among the large number of elementary schools in New York City to examine how much schools vary in the efficiency of the education they provide to subgroups. In addition, we examine the extent to which observable school characteristics can account for the variation that exists. We find that New York City elementary schools vary in how well they educate poor students compared to nonpoor students and Asian and White students compared to Black and Hispanic students. The disparities in school efficiency measures between boys and girls are lower than for the other subgroups. There is no conclusive evidence about which school resources and characteristics are associated with more or less efficient education across all subgroups.

2005

Stiefel, L., Rubenstein, R., Schwartz, A.E. & Zabel, J., eds. 2005. Measuring School Performance and Efficiency: Implications for Practice and Research Eye on Education: Larchmont, NY,
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Abstract

School performance and efficiency measurement have taken center stage in much of the debate and research in education policy since at least the mid-1990s. Despite the clear theoretical and practical importance of understanding the ways in which school performance can be measured, only limited research exists on alternative ways to measure how well schools are educating their students, delivering what parents want, and using resources efficiently. In this volume, the authors of eight chapters address the measurement of school performance, an issue that lies in between the study of technical characteristics of student assessments, on the one hand, and the effectiveness of accountability systems that use those assessments, on the other. Although psychometricians focus on the reliability, validity, and fairness of individual student assessments, and social scientists address whether state and local accountability systems that use those student assessments are effective ways to influence school performance, the authors of this volume consider the pros and cons of alternative measurements of school performance and efficiency, per se.

Schwartz, A.E. & Stiefel, L. 2005. Public Education in the Dynamic City: Lessons from New York City Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, 11 (2):157-172.
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Abstract

The plight of urban schools and their failure to adequately and efficiently educate their students has occupied the national discussion about public schools in America over the last quarter century. While there is little doubt that failing schools exist in rural and suburban locations, the image of city school systems as under-financed, inefficient, inequitable and burdened by students with overwhelming needs is particularly well entrenched in the modern American psyche. As the largest school district in the country, New York City attracts particular attention to its problems. To some extent, this image reflects realities. New York City school children, like many urban students around the country, are more likely to be poor, non-white and immigrants, with limited English skills, and greater instability in their schooling, and the new waves of immigrants from around the world bring students with a formidable array of backgrounds, language skills, and special needs. The resulting changes in the student body pose particular challenges for schools. At the same time, despite a decade of school finance litigation and reform, New York continues to have trouble affording the class sizes, highly qualified teachers and other resources that suburban neighbors enjoy. Finally, there is evidence of continuing segregation and disparities in performance between students of different races and ethnicities.

Stiefel, L., Schwartz, A.E., Berne, R. & Chellman, C. 2005. School Finance Court Cases and Disparate Racial Impact: The Contribution of Statistical Analysis in New York Education and Urban Society, February 2005, Vol. 37, No. 2, pp 151-173.
Abstract

Although analyses of state school finance systems rarely focus on the distribution of funds to students of different races, the advent of racial discrimination as an issue in school finance court cases may change that situation. In this article, we describe the background, analyses, and results of plaintiffs' testimony regarding racial discrimination in Campaign for Fiscal Equity Inc. v. State of New York. Plaintiffs employed multiple regression and public finance literature to show that New York State's school finance system had a disparate racial impact on New York City students. We review the legal basis for disparate racial impact claims, with particular emphasis on the role of quantitative statistical work, and then describe the model we developed and estimated for the court case. Finally, we discuss the defendants' rebuttal, the Court's decision, and conclude with observations about the role of analysis in judicial decision making in school finance.

Schwartz, A.E., Stiefel, L. & Bel Hadj Amor, H. 2005. Best Schools, Worst Schools and School Efficiency Developments in School Finance - 2004.
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Abstract

Contains papers by state education dept. policymakers, analysts, & data providers on emerging issues in school finance. Includes: estimates of disparities & analysis of the causes of expenditures in public school districts; race, poverty & the student curriculum; court-ordered school finance equalization; resource allocation to schools under conditions of radical decentralization; building equity & effectiveness into school-based funding models; alternative options for deflating education expenditures over time; productivity collapse in schools; & evaluating the effect of teacher degree level on educational performance.

Stiefel, L., Schwartz, A.E., Rubenstein, R. & Zabel, J. 2005. Measuring School Efficiency: What Have We Learned? Measuring School Performance and Efficiency: Implications for Practice and Research. Edited by Leanna Stiefel et al. Yearbook of American Education Finance Association, Eye on Education, New York, New York: 1-16,
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Abstract

School performance and efficiency measurement have taken center stage in much of the debate and research in education policy since at least the mid-1990s. Despite the clear theoretical and practical importance of understanding the ways in which school performance can be measured, only limited research exists on alternative ways to measure how well schools are educating their students, delivering what parents want, and using resources efficiently. The authors address the measurement of school performance, an issue that lies between the study of technical characteristics of student assessments, on the one hand, and the effectiveness of accountability systems that use those assessments, on the other. Although psychometricians focus on the reliability, validity, and fairness of individual student assessments, and social scientists address whether state and local accountability systems that use those student assessments are effective ways to influence school performance, the authors of this volume consider the pros and cons of alternative measurements of school performance and efficiency, per se.

Schwartz, A.E., Bel Hadj Amor, H. & Stiefel, L. 2005. Measuring School Performance Using Cost Functions Measuring School Performance and Efficiency: Implications for Practice and Research. Edited by Leanna Stiefel et al. Yearbook of American Education Finance Association, Eye on Education, New York, New York: 1-16,
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Abstract

This chapter develops and explores the use of school-level cost functions for estimating school efficiency and differentiating between more- and less-efficient schools. Using data for elementary and middle schools in the state of Ohio, we explore a range of specifications and the resulting efficiency measures. The next section presents and overview of the literature on education cost functions. In the third section we present the theory of cost functions, and in the fourth section we describe the data. The fifth section provides estimation results, and the chapter concludes in the fifth section with implications and lessons for future research.

2004

Stiefel, L. & Schwartz, A.E. 2004. Immigrants and the Distribution of Resources within an Urban School District Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, Winter 2004, Vol. 26, No. 4. pp- 303-328.
Abstract

In New York City, where almost 14 percent of elementary school pupils are foreign-born and roughly half of these are "recent immigrants," the impact of immigrant students on school resources may be important. While immigrant advocates worry about inequitable treatment of immigrant students, others worry that immigrants drain resources from native-born students. In this article, we explore the variation in school resources and the relationship to the representation of immigrant students. To what extent are variations in school resources explained by the presence of immigrants per se rather than by differences in student educational needs, such as poverty or language skills, or differences in other characteristics, such as race? Our results indicate that, while schools resources decrease with the representation of immigrants, this relationship largely reflects differences in the educational needs of immigrant students. Although analyses that link resources to the representation of foreign-born students in 12 geographic regions of origin find some disparities, these are again largely driven by differences in educational need. Finally, we find that some resources increase over time when there are large increases in the percentage of immigrants in a school, but these results are less precisely estimated. Thus, elementary schools appear not to be biased either against or for immigrants per se, although differences in the needs of particular groups of immigrant students may lead to more (or fewer) school resources.

Schwartz, A.E., Stiefel, L. & Rubenstein, R. 2004. From Districts To Schools: The Distribution Of Resources Across Schools in Big City School Districts Symposium on Education Finance and Organization Structure in NYS Schools, Albany, NY, March
Abstract

This paper explores the determinants of resource allocation across schools in large districts and examines options for improving resource distribution patterns. Previous research on intra-district allocations consistently reveals resource disparities across schools within districts, particularly in the distribution of teachers. While overall expenditures are sometimes related to the characteristics of students in schools, the ratio of teachers per pupil is consistently larger in high poverty, high-minority and low-performing schools. These teachers, though, generally have lower experience and education levels � and consequently, lower salaries � as compared to teachers in more advantaged schools. We explore these patterns in New York City, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio by estimating de facto expenditure equations relating resource measures to school and student characteristics. Consistent with previous research, we find schools that have higher percentages of poor pupils receive more money and have more teachers per pupil, but the teachers tend to be less educated and less well paid, with a particularly consistent pattern in New York City schools. The paper concludes with policy options for changing intradistrict resource distributions in order to promote more efficient, more equitable or more effective use of resources. These options include allocating dollars rather than teacher positions to schools, providing teacher pay differentials in hard-to-staff schools and subjects, and adapting current district-based funding formulas to the school (and student) level.

Schwartz, A.E., Stiefel, L. & Kim, D.Y. 2004. The Impact of School Reform on Student Performance: Evidence from the New York Network for School Renewal Project Journal of Human Resources, spring 2004, pages 500-522.
Abstract

This paper evaluates the impact of the New York Networks for School Renewal Project, a whole school reform initiated by the Annenberg Foundation as part of a nationwide reform strategy. It uses data on students in randomly chosen control schools to estimate impacts on student achievement, using an intent-to-treat design. After controlling for student demographic, mobility, and school characteristics, the authors find positive impacts for students attending reform schools in the fourth Grade, mixed evidence for fifth Grade, and slight to no evidence for sixth Grade. On average, there is a small positive impact. The paper illustrates how relatively inexpensive administrative data can be used to evaluate education reforms.

2003

Stiefel, L. & Iatarola, P. 2003. Intradistrict Equity of Public Education Resources and Performance Economics of Education Review, Volume 22, Number 1, pages 60-78.
Abstract

This paper presents empirical evidence on input and output equity of expenditures, teacher resources, and performance across 840 elementary and middle schools in New York City. Historically, researchers have studied interdistrict distributions, but given the large numbers of pupils and schools within many urban districts, it is important to learn about intradistrict distributions as well. The empirical work is built on a framework of horizontal, vertical, and equal opportunity equity. The results show that the horizontal equity distributions are more disparate than what would be expected relative to results of other studies, vertical equity is lacking, especially in elementary schools, and equality of opportunity is at best neutral but more often absent. Middle schools exhibit more equity than elementary schools. The paper is one of the first to measure output equity, using levels and changes in test scores to do so.

Stiefel, L., Rubenstein, R. & Schwartz, A.E. 2003. Better than Raw: A Guide to Measuring Organizational Performance with Adjusted Performance Measures Public Administration Review,
Abstract

Like oysters on the half shell, some things are better when they're raw. In evaluating the performance of organizations and providing guidance for improving performance, however, raw performance measures, such as test scores or success rates, are often inferior to performance measures adjusted for client and environmental characteristics, or adjusted performance measures (APMs). Using examples from a variety of public services and data on public schools in Georgia, we compare the performance data generated by raw scores and by APMs. We conclude with guidance for constructing and using adjusted performance measures.

Schwartz, A.E., Rubenstein, R., Stiefel, L. & Bel Hadj Amor, H. 2003. Distinguishing Good Schools from Bad in Principle and Practice: A Comparison of Four Methods in Developments in School Finance 2003, National Center for Education Statistics.
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Abstract

For over a decade, perhaps no other issue in education has generated the same level of debate and policy activity as school accountability. At their most basic, accountability policies tie school rewards and sanctions to measures of school performance, typically specified as either performance levels (for example, aggregate percentile ranks or the percentage of students meeting specified benchmarks) or changes in performance (for example, increases in aggregate test scores or in the percentage of students meeting benchmarks). While most accountability efforts have been enacted at the state and local level, the peak of this movement may be the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001, which requires states to demonstrate adequate yearly progress in reading and mathematics performance by school and by subgroups within schools. Common to these reform efforts is the underlying notion that incentives based upon measures of school performance will spur improvements in student performance.

Stiefel, L., Schwartz, A.E., Kim, D.Y. & Portas, C. 2003. School Budgeting and School Performance: The Impact of New York City’s Performance Driven Budgeting Initiative Journal of Education Finance, Volume 28, Number 3, pages 403-424.
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Abstract

Performance Driven Budgeting (PDB) is a school-based budgeting initiative that was instituted in a select group of New York City schools beginning in the 1997-1998 school year. This paper analyzes the impact of the initiative on student test scores in the fourth and fifth grades and on spending patterns. Using school-level data provided by the New York City Board of Education, we construct a panel dataset of 609 elementary and middle schools over a span of four years, 1995-96 through 1998-99. To analyze the impact of the initiative we estimate school production function models that incorporate school fixed effects and an indicator for participation in PDB. After controlling for these and other student-body characteristics, we find that PDB had a positive effect on some student test scores and led to a change in the mix of spending, but not its level.

Chellman, C., Schwartz, A.E. & Stiefel, L. 2003. Test Score Gaps in New York State Schools: What do Fourth and Eighth Grade Results Show? Condition Report, Education Finance Research Consortium, New York State Education Department, Fall
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Abstract

This report analyzes performance gaps by race/ethnicity, income and gender in New York State schools using fourth and eighth grade math and English language test results. Their results highlight the legacy of racial segregation where many schools have too few whites or non-whites to allow a meaningful calculation of the subgroup test performance or test score ‘gap’ between schools. Even with a minimum sub-group size of six, only 45.7% of elementary schools had enough whites or non-whites to calculate gaps. Findings indicate that the gaps do differ substantially; gaps between racially segregated schools are over 2.5 times greater than gaps in mixed schools.

2002

Ellen, I.G., O'Regan, K., Schwartz, A.E. & Stiefel, L. 2002. Immigrant Children and Urban Schools: Evidence from New York City on Segregation and its Consequences for Schooling Brookings-Wharton Papers on Urban Affairs,
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Abstract

Immigrant children represent a large and growing proportion of school children in the United States, especially in urban areas. An estimated 10.4 percent of the U.S. population is now foreign-born (the highest percentage since 1930); and in central cities, the proportion has risen to 16 percent (Lollock 2001; Schmidley and Gibson 1997). Yet we know surprisingly little about the experience or isolation levels of foreign-born students. While there is considerable research on the degree to which racial minorities are isolated in U.S. schools and on the disturbing consequences of this segregation, there is no parallel research concerning immigrants.
The goal of this paper is to begin to examine this issue, looking at evidence from New York City. In particular, we address two main questions. First, how segregated are immigrant students in New York's schools and how does that segregation vary across groups with differing language skills and from different regions of the world? Second, to the extent we do see segregation, how different are the schools attended by immigrant children (either overall or from particular regions) in terms of student characteristics, teachers, and funding levels?
New York City is an especially apt place to study immigrant students because the city's public schools educate so many immigrants, from such a broad range of countries (over 200), speaking a great diversity of languages (over 120). In addition, we have been able to assemble an extraordinarily detailed data set, which allows us to exploit the richness that New York City's student body provides.
The paper is organized as follows. In the first section we review the literature on school segregation and explore the ways in which segregation might affect immigrant students. In section two we describe our data and provide a brief statistical portrait of immigrant students in New York City. In section three, we lay out the methods and hypotheses to be explored in this paper, while in section four we present our analysis of segregation of immigrant students. Section five concludes.

Schwartz, A.E., Stiefel, L. & Iatarola, P. 2002. School Performance and Resource Use: The Role of Districts in New York City in Fiscal Issues in Urban Schools, Research in Education Fiscal Policy and Practice: Volume One, Christopher Roellke and Jennifer King Rice, editors. Information Age Publishing.
Abstract

State accountability systems as well as the system written into the reauthorized Elementary and Secondary Education Act rely on measures of performance to judge how well schools are educating their students. While the role of districts in financing schools is well known, relatively little attention has been paid to any other function the district might have in determining school performance. Advocates for school-based budgeting and school-based financing argue that educational policymaking and primary control cover budgeting is best left to schools, with more limited responsibilities for districts in areas such as support services for joint purchasing or professional development. At the same time, the movements toward greater state financing and more stringent state accountability systems are strong forces shifting revenue raising and authority aver curriculum from the district to the state level. Do districts continue to matter at all in how schools perform? Why and in what ways?

2001

Iatarola, P., Schwartz, A.E. & Stiefel, L. 2001. Determinants of School Performance in New York Elementary Schools: Results and Implications for Resource Use Condition Report for the New York State Education Finance Research Consortium. May
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Abstract

This study seeks to identify and better understand factors that determine differences in performance/efficiency between various schools. It also examines through statistical analysis strengths and weaknesses of the production-function based approach to assessing school performance in New York City schools. The authors conclude that there is no statistical way to select a school performance/efficiency measure because results can vary significantly depending on how performance is defined. They contend this leads to important implications regarding the ability to accurately rank schools.

Schwartz, A.E. & Stiefel, L. 2001. Measuring School Efficiency: Lessons from Economics, Implications for Practice in Improving Educational Productivity: Lessons from Economics, David Monk, Herbert Wahlberg, and Margaret Wang, ed., pp. 115-137.
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Abstract

Estimating efficiency and productivity in education involves confronting and addressing a host of difficulties in measuring inputs and outputs, capturing environmental influences, compensating for data scarcity, and determining causality. Nevertheless, recent improvements in data quality and availability and accompanying advances in statistical methods offer the promise of improved measures of school efficiency and the prospect of identifying the determinants of efficiency across schools and school districts and over time. This chapter discusses approaches to measuring K-12 efficiency and the relative merits of each, explaining the complexities of applying these techniques in the real world, and concludes with lessons learned for practitioners.

2000

Stiefel, L., Berne, R., Iatarola, P. & Fruchter, N. 2000. High School Size: The Effects on Budgets and Performance in New York City Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, Spring
Abstract

Combines budget and performance information to study the effects of high school size. Suggests that since small high schools are more effective for minority and poor students, and the budget per student is found to be similar for small and large schools, policymakers might support the creation of more small high schools. (SLD)
1999

Berne, R., Stiefel, L., Ladd, H.F., Chalk, R. & Hansen, J.S. 1999. Concepts of Equity: 1970 to Present Equity and Adequacy Issues in Education Finance: Background Papers, Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. .

Schwartz, A.E., Stiefel, L. & Rubenstein, R. 1999. Measuring School Efficiency Using School-Level Data: Theory and Practice in Margaret Goertz and Allan Odden, eds., School-Based Financing, Corw, pp 40-74.

Berne, R. & Stiefel, L. 1999. School Site Based Financing in Large U.S. Cities in Margaret Goertz and Allan Odden, eds., School-Based Financing, Thousand Oaks, CA: Corw.

Stiefel, L. 1999. The Measurement of Output Quality in US Nonprofit Organizations Italian Statistical Association.
Abstract

Italian Statistical Association, 1999.

Stiefel, L., Schwartz, A.E. & Rubenstein, R. 1999. Using Adjusted Performance Measures for Evaluating Resource Use Public Budgeting and Finance, Volume 19, No. 3, Fall .
Abstract

Public service organizations are looking for ways to improve the evaluation of performance and resource allocation. One of the approaches is to use adjusted performance measures, which attempt to Capture factors that affect the organizational performance but are outside of the organization's control. This article illustrates the construction and use of adjusted performance measures to assess the performance of public schools, and reports findings from a study of school-based budgeting in Chicago that relates adjusted performance measures and patterns of budget allocations.

1998

Stiefel, L., Schwartz, A.E. & Rubenstein, R. 1998. Conceptual and Empirical Issues in the Measurement of School Efficiency National Tax Journal, Proceedings from 91st Annual Conference, pp 267-274.

Schwartz, A.E., Stiefel, L. & Rubenstein, R. 1998. Education Finance in The Handbook of Public Finance, Fred Thompson and Mark Green, eds., Marcel Dekker Publishers.

Berne, R., Moser, M. & Stiefel, L. 1998. Equity and Efficiency in K-12 Education: Thirty Years of History in Stuart Nagel, ed., Research in Public Policy Analysis and Management, Vol. 9. Stanford, Conn.: JAI Press.

Stiefel, L., Rubenstein, R. & Berne, R. 1998. Intra-District Equity in Four Large Cities: Methods, Data, and Results Journal of Education Finance, Volume 23, No. 4, Spring 1998, pp 447-467.
Abstract

Reviews the school-level resource-allocation literature and presents findings of a study of school-district expenditures in Chicago, Forth Worth, New York, and Rochester. Horizontal equity results show that in Chicago, New York, and Fort Worth, most coefficients of variation are below 0.15. Rochester's system is slightly less equitable. For general funds, all cities show mixed vertical-equity results.

Stiefel, L. & Goertz, M. 1998. Introduction to School-Level Resource Allocation in Urban Public Schools Journal of Education Finance, Vol. 23, No. 4, Spring 1998, pp 435-446.

Stiefel, L. & Iatarola, P. 1998. School-Based Budgeting in New York City: Perceptions of School Communities Journal of Education Finance, Vol. 23, No. 4, Spring 1998, pp 557-576.

Iatarola, P. & Stiefel, L., Fruchter, N., Berne, R. 1998. The Effects of Size of Student Body on School Costs: New York City High Schools Small Schools, Big Imaginations: A Creative Look at Urban Public Schools. Edited by Fine, Michelle and Janis Somerville. Cross City Campaign for Urban School Reform.
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Abstract

School reform leaders from Chicago (Illinois), Denver (Colorado), New York (New York), Seattle (Washington), Philadelphia (Pennsylvania), and Los Angeles (California) created the Cross City Campaign for Urban School Reform to work to improve urban education so that all urban youth are well-prepared for postsecondary education, work, and citizenship. Papers in this volume provide insights into an approach advocated by the Cross City Campaign, the small schools movement.

1997

Berne, R. & Stiefel, L. 1997. Student-Level School Resource Measures in William J. Fowler, editor, Selected Papers in School Finance. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Education, National Center on Education Statistics, NCES 97-536.

Berne, R., Moser, M. & Stiefel, L. 1997. The Coming of Age of School-Level Finance Data Journal of Education Finance, Vol. 22, No. 3, Winter 1997, pp 246-254.
Abstract

Discusses implications for school finance data collection and analysis of shifting to schools as key management and policy units. Discusses questions that school-level data can answer concerning resource utilization efficiency, effectiveness, intent, and equity. Outlines conceptual issues (school definition and identification) and database realities. Illustrates issues problems, and principles, using examples from Rochester, New York.
1995

Berne, R., Cipollina, N., Netzer, D. & Stiefel, L. 1995. Estimating the Fiscal Impact of Secession: The Case of Staten Island and New York City Public Budgeting and Financial Management, Vol. 7, No. 2, Summer 1995, pp 147-169.

1994

Berne, Robert and Leanna Stiefel 1994. Measuring Equity at the School Level: The Finance Perspective Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 16 (4): 405-421.
Abstract

This article explores conceptual, methodological, and empirical issues in resource allocation at the intradistrict and school levels. With increased attention focused on policies and data related to resources within districts, it is important that analytical problems and potential solutions be debated by researchers. The article develops ways that equity concepts can apply at the school level, identifies a series of methodological issues, and includes an empirical analysis of vertical equity at the intradistrict and school levels in New York City.

1993

Berne, R. & Stiefel, L. 1993. Cutback Budgeting: The Long-Term Consequences Journal of Policy Analysis & Management, Fall 93, Vol. 12 Issue 4, p664-684, 21p
Abstract

Analyzes whether short-term cutbacks made during a fiscal crisis become permanent once fiscal conditions improve. Economic and fiscal history of New York City from the 1970s through the 1980s; Framework for studying the long-term effects of budgetary cutbacks; Methodology for studying the long-term effects of 1976 and 1977 budgetary cutbacks; Effects on dollars, services, teacher characteristics and capital constructions.

Stiefel, Leanna 1993. Statistical Analysis for Public and Nonprofit Managers Greenwood Publishing Group
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Abstract

This is a comprehensive, clearly written guide to the use of statistical analysis in the management of not-for-profit organizations. The book emphasizes statistical models that use more than one variable and is unique in presenting multivariate statistics specifically with the public and the not-for-profit manager in mind. Examples throughout have been chosen to be relevant to the not-for-profit organization and each chapter contains several "real-life" illustrations of how statistical techniques can be used in actual practice. In addition to explaining statistical methods and techniques in detail, the author focuses on why statistics should be used and helps the reader obtain an intuitive grasp of the rationale behind the statistics.

1992

Berne, Robert and Leanna Stiefel 1992. Equity Standards for State School Finance Programs: Philosophies and Standards Relevant to Section 5(d)(2) of the Federal Impact Aid Program Journal of Education Finance, 8 (1): 89-112.
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1983

Berne, Robert and Leanna Stiefel 1983. Changes in School Finance Equity: A National Perspective Journal of Education Finance, 8 (4): 419-435.
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Abstract

Differing methodologies and varied conclusions in research about equity trends in school finance make it impossible to assess national status in school finance reform by using existing studies. Evidence suggests, however, that although horizontal equity has not been achieved, the situation improved from 1940 to 1960 and worsened from 1960 to 1977.

1982

Berne, Robert and Leanna Stiefel 1982. Alternative Measures of Wealth Neutrality Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 4 (1):5-20.
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Abstract

Various simple ex post wealth neutrality measures capture different aspects of the concept; the use of one measure alone or several measures independently can lead to interpretation problems. The Adjusted Relationship Measure is introduced to pay attention to actual revenue differences associated with wealth differences.

1981

Hickam, D., Berne, R. & Stiefel, L. 1981. Taxing Over Tax Limits: Evidence from the Past and Policy Lessons for the Future Public Administration Review, Jul/Aug 1981, Vol. 41 Issue 4, p445-453, 9p
Abstract

It is generally thought that across-the-board tax limits, white encouraging fiscal restraint, create hardships for jurisdictions with above average and uncontrollable needs. Because of the recent imposition of most limits, the conclusion is difficult to confirm empirically. This article provides a test of the conclusion based on a study of New York State city school districts where limits long in effect were suspended between 1970 and 1978 because of unusual local behavior and legislative action. Because some, but not all, districts took advantage of legislatively granted authority to tax beyond their limit, art empirical investigation can be used to explain this behavior. The results of the analysis, which show that low ability to pay, low inter-governmental grants, and high needs account for much of the behavior of districts that exceed limits, are helpful in designing flexible tax limits.

Berne, Robert and Leanna Stiefel 1981. Measuring the Equity of School Finance Policies: A Conceptual and Empirical Analysis Policy Analysis, 7 (1):47-70.  Reprinted in Ray C. Rist, ed., Policy Studies Review Annual, Volume 6, Sage, Beverly Hills, CA., 1982: 620-642.

Berne, Robert and Leanna Stiefel 1981. The Equity Effects of State School Finance Reforms: A Methodological Critique and New Evidence Policy Sciences, 13 (1): 75-98.
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Abstract

Since 1970, over half the states have reformed their school finance systems with improvement in equity of revenue and resource distributions as one of the stated goals. While numerous studies evaluating the equity effects of these often expensive reforms have been undertaken, there remains much disagreement about how to assess the reforms' impacts. In this article, we address the problems of measuring equity effects with an emphasis on the need for multiple definitions and an understanding of the value judgments inherent in all measures of equity. Next, three methodologies that have been used to assess the equity impacts of school finance reform are critiqued. Finally, in an effort to correct shortcomings of each, a fourth methodology is developed and new empirical evidence on the effects of reform based on that methodology are presented. The article concludes with observations about the importance of the choice of a methodology with which to evaluate complex policy changes that involve value judgments about what is fair, just, and equitable.

1979

Berne, R. & Stiefel, L. 1979. Social Science Research and School Finance Policy American Behavioral Scientist, Nov/Dec 1979, Vol. 23 Issue 2, p207, 30p.
Abstract

Investigates the impact of social science research on school finance policy in the U.S. Formulation of social science research to public policy; Perspectives in evaluating the policy impact of social science research; Strengths of the perspectives.

Berne, Robert and Leanna Stiefel 1979. Concepts of Equity and Their Relationship to State School Finance Plans Journal of Education Finance, 5 (1): 109-132.
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Abstract

Systematically analyzes the relationships between the goals and the tools of educational finance plans. Argues that an improved understanding of policies that affect school finance equity can be obtained by viewing equity in terms of a conceptual framework and by describing school finance plans in terms of their structural elements.

Berne, Robert and Leanna Stiefel 1979. Taxpayer Equity in School Finance Reform: The School Finance and the Public Finance Perspectives Journal of Education Finance, 5(1): 36-54.
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Abstract

Elaborates on distinctions between different formulations of taxpayer equity. First, taxpayer equity is examined from the school finance perspective, then notions of taxpayer equity that are more consistent with public finance views, but that can and have been applied to education, are introduced.

Berne, Robert and Leanna Stiefel 1979. The Equity of School Finance Systems Over Time: The Value Judgments Inherent in Evaluation Educational Administration Quarterly, 15(2): 14-34.
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Abstract

Numerous value judgments are embedded in the standards used to evaluate whether a school finance system has become more or less equitable over time. Data from 20 states are analyzed to demonstrate that alternative value judgments affect the measurement of a state's movement toward or away from equity.

1976

Stiefel, Leanna 1976. Mobile Home Developments: Impact on Local Treasury Journal of Economic Issues, X (3): 673-677.
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Abstract

The article focuses on the impact on local treasury of mobile home developments. The impact on the local public treasury of the parks in which most newly constructed mobile homes are located is as important to the discussion of the mobile home as a vehicle for enhancing the nation's housing services as is the analysis of private mobile home market operations. This is so because an adverse impact on the local treasury may cause local governments to resist zoning land for mobile home use. Furthermore, an analysis of the net benefits of mobile homes should include an estimate of their social overhead as well as their private net benefits. This note reports a hypothetical case study of the impact on the public treasury of a 600-unit mobile home park in an urban-fringe community of 16,400 population near Detroit, Michigan. A case study in other states with similar local finance structures would result in similar findings. In Michigan, mobile home parks yield revenues to local governments through various means.

Officer, Lawrence and Leanna Stiefel 1976. The New World of Economics: A Review Article Journal of Economic Issues, X (1):149-158. Reprinted in Warren J. Samuels, ed., The Chicago School of Political Economy, Transaction Publishers, New Brunswick, 1993: 459-468.
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Abstract

In this article, the authors present their comments on the book "The New World of Economics," by Richard B. McKenzie and Gordon Tullock. McKenzie and Tullock differ from the other authors in three respects. First, they abandon any reference at all to traditional economic topics. Second, they write in an extremely forceful and provocative style, advocating economic concepts and principles above those of all other disciplines. Third, they adopt a single focal point virtually throughout the volume, namely, individual maximization of utility through the equating of marginal utility or benefit and marginal cost. The book is excellent in its gradual introduction of concepts, usually only one or two in each chapter, and in cleverly discussing them in the context of a particular problem. Unfortunately, the explanation of the basic tools of economics in the first chapter is not adequate for most students with no economics background. The equality of the ratio of marginal utility to price across goods and services is particularly inadequate in its development, given the difficulty many students have with the principle.