Raising School Quality in Developing Countries: What Investments Boost Learning?
Low levels of student achievement and school quality persist in developing countries. This document reviews the importance of school quality in increasing literacy and influencing economic growth in developing nations. Improvements are discussed in terms of: (1) school quality and economic development; (2) defining school quality; (3) improving school quality; and (4) increasing school efficiency. Evidence suggests that low school quality accounts for low literacy levels and achievement among children in developing nations and that little progress has occurred in improving school quality in the poorest countries since 1970. Definitions of school quality should focus on characteristics that influence student achievement and on efforts that encourage more efficient management and effective local school staff. Little research has been conducted about the influence of teaching practices and classroom organization on achievement levels, but access to textbooks and writing materials and teacher quality consistently influence student achievement. Methods for studying the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of management practices in terms of increased school quality are reviewed, and investments that can be reduced without causing detrimental effects are identified. Tables and a 94-item bibliography are included. (Author/JHP)
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A Costly Neglect of School Quality?
Defining School Quality
What School Characteristics Boost Achievement?
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academic achievement achievement effects achievement levels achieving students addition analysis beta coefficient Bolivia boost achievement Botswana Brazil child's Chile classroom correlation developing countries earnings economic elements of school exam expenditures per pupil family background gain in achievement grade graduates headmasters improving school quality increase industrialized countries industrialized nations influence achievement influence of school instance investment Iran Kenya length of schooling level of schooling magnitude Malaysia material inputs measures middle-income Mingat Nicaragua percent Plowden Report primary school production production-function proxies pupil expenditures pupil performance quality factor quality of school raising achievement rate of return receiving radio related to achievement reported rural salary levels school achievement school characteristics school expansion school factors school inputs school library school quality elements scores secondary schools significant effect social class background student background student performance survey Tanzania teacher quality teacher salaries textbooks Thailand Third World Uganda urban