ERIC Number: ED466983
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
Autonomy, Participation, and Learning in Argentine Schools: Findings and Their Implications for Decentralization.
Eskeland, Gunnar S.; Filmer, Deon
According to a theoretical model, student learning can be raised through separate channels by school autonomy and parental participation. Increased school autonomy increases the rent that can be distributed among stakeholders at the school, while institutions for parental participation empower parents to command a higher share of this surplus, for instance through student learning. With a rich cross-section data set from Argentine schools (6th and 7th grades), autonomy and participation are found to raise student test scores for a given level of inputs in a multiplicative way, consistent with the model. Autonomy has a direct effect on learning, and participation affects learning only through mediating the effect of autonomy. Results are robust, and for sub-samples of children from poor households, children of uneducated mothers, schools with low mean family wealth, and public schools, results are the same or stronger. It is possible that autonomy and participation are endogenously determined and that this biases the results. Plausible predictors of autonomy and participation are also plausible predictors of test scores directly. Heuristically argued, the potential for correlation with unobserved variables may be limited: the data set is rich in observed variables, and autonomy and participation show very low correlation with observed variables. Results may have relevance for decentralization in two ways: (1) as decentralization moves responsibility from the center toward the province/state level and/or toward local governments, the results should be directly relevant if this raises autonomy and participation in schools; (2) if the results are interpreted to represent a more general effect of moving decision-making toward users and the local community, they have relevance even if little happens to autonomy and participation in schools. Empirical evidence illustrates the importance of checking who is empowered when higher-level strings are loosened. (Includes 11 notes, two figures, and five tables. Contains annexed tables and 30 references.) (Author/BT)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Decentralization, Developing Nations, Foreign Countries, Grade 6, Grade 7, Institutional Autonomy, Intermediate Grades, Junior High Schools, Models, Parent Participation, School Organization
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Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: World Bank, Washington, DC.
Identifiers - Location: Argentina