Measuring School Efficiency: Lessons from Economics, Implications for Practice

Schwartz, A.E. & Stiefel, L.
in Improving Educational Productivity: Lessons from Economics, David Monk, Herbert Wahlberg, and Margaret Wang, ed., pp. 115-137.

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.

Wagner Faculty