Leanna Stiefel (Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, New York University), Amy Ellen Schwartz (Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, New York University) & Patrice Iatarola (Institute for Education and Social Policy, New York University). Education Finance Research Consortium. 05/2001. p. 44.
ABSTRACT: The objectives of this report are twofold: to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the production-function based approach to investigating school performance/ efficiency in New York City using currently available school-level data; and to apply our findings to understanding the factors that determine differences in performance/efficiency across schools. Our empirical strategy involves the use of a three-year panel of data on New York City elementary schools that we examine as follows. First, we estimate alternative specifications of production functions, (output is defined as test scores), for different grades (4th and 5th), different tests (reading and math) and levels and changes in scores, and by using alternative econometric forms (fixed effects and residuals). Second, we compare alternative performance/efficiency measures with one another and create categories to distinguish low, middle and high performing schools using alternative measures. Finally, we examine the differences in resource use across the categories. In summary, our findings suggest that there is no statistical way to choose a school performance/efficiency measure.