ERIC Number: ED107736
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1975
Reference Count: N/A
Equality of Educational Opportunity Quantified: A Production Function Approach.
Summers, Anita A.; Wolfe, Barbara L.
This paper discusses a statistical analysis of the impact on student learning of socioeconomic characteristics, certain aspects of the school environment, and the amount of educational resources expanded on students. It is felt that the analysis is quite similar to what economists do when they estimate production functions for films; but that there are several features unique to education, the most important being that the costs of the inputs to education (e.g., teacher salaries) do not vary with the value of the outputs of education (e.g., academic achievement). In an education production function, then, the value of the inputs must be directly estimated, without reference to price. The techniques appropriate to economic agents which maximize the value of outputs according to the cost of inputs are not applicable. The data base was provided by the Philadelphia school district. From pupil files, as of 1970-71 or 1971-72, detailed data were obtained for 627 sixth grade students in 103 elementary schools, for 533 eighth grade students in 42 junior high schools, and 716 twelfth grade students in five senior high schools. The results of the study are interpreted as suggesting that student achievement is increased when school resources are applied differentially to low income vs. high income students, black vs. non-black students, and, most clearly, to low-achieving vs. high-achieving students. (Author/JM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, PA.
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania (Philadelphia)