ERIC Number: EJ1177177
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Abstractor: As Provided
Liberia's Experiment with Privatising Education: A Critical Analysis of the RCT Study
Klees, Steven J.
Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, v48 n3 p471-482 2018
To experiment with the possible privatisation of its primary education system, Liberia initiated the Partnership Schools of Liberia (PSL), which turned over the management of 93 public schools to eight private contractors. A randomised controlled trial (RCT) study was initiated comparing the PSL schools with matched public schools and the results were recently published. This paper is a critical analysis of the PSL and its RCT study and has three main conclusions. First, increases in test score were more likely on the order of 35 percent to 45 percent instead of the reported 60 percent. Second, the increase in test scores had little, if anything, to do with the private management of schools. Test score gains likely resulted from policy changes that could be enacted in regular public schools. Third, the PSL is an extraordinarily expensive experiment, costing upwards of $25 million, and is unlikely to be worth the investment.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Privatization, Public Schools, Randomized Controlled Trials, Partnerships in Education, Tests, Scores, Achievement Gains, Governance, Educational Policy, Cost Effectiveness, Elementary Schools, Program Effectiveness
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Liberia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A