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ERIC Number: EJ889587
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jul
Pages: 29
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 46
ISSN: ISSN-0038-0407
Are "Failing" Schools Really Failing? Using Seasonal Comparison to Evaluate School Effectiveness
Downey, Douglas B.; von Hippel, Paul T.; Hughes, Melanie
Sociology of Education, v81 n3 p242-270 Jul 2008
To many, it seems obvious which schools are failing--schools whose students perform poorly on achievement tests. But since evaluating schools on achievement mixes the effects of school and nonschool influences, achievement-based evaluation likely underestimates the effectiveness of schools that serve disadvantaged populations. In this article, the authors discuss school-evaluation methods that more effectively separate school effects from nonschool effects. Specifically, the authors evaluate schools using 12-month (calendar-year) learning rates, 9-month (school-year) learning rates, and a provocative new measure, "impact"--which is the difference between the school-year learning rate and the summer learning rate. Using data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study of 1998-99, the authors show that learning- or impact-based evaluation methods substantially change conclusions about which schools are failing. In particular, among schools with failing (i.e., bottom-quintile) achievement levels, less than half are failing with respect to learning or impact. In addition, schools that serve disadvantaged students are much more likely to have low achievement levels than they are to have low levels of learning or impact. The implications of these findings are discussed in relation to market-based educational reform. (Contains 10 tables, 1 figure, and 11 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Grade 10; Grade 12; Grade 3; Grade 4; Grade 7; Kindergarten
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001