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Improving America's Schools: The Role of Incentives

Eric A. Hanushek, Dale W. Jorgenson
Published Date: 
Washington, DC: National Academy Press
280 pages
Reform of American education is largely motivated by concerns about our economic competitiveness and American's standard of living. Yet, few if any of the public school reform agendas incorporate economic principles or research findings. "Improving America's Schools" explores how education and economic research can help produce, in the words of Harvard's Dale W. Jorgenson, "a unified framework for future education reform." This book presents the perspectives of noted experts, including Eric A. Hanushek, author of "Making Schools Work", on creating incentives for improved school and student performance; Under Secretary of Education Marshall S. Smith on the Clinton Administration's reform program; and Rebecca Maynard, University of Pennsylvania, on the education of the disadvantaged.This volume explores these areas: the importance of schooling to labor market success; the prospects for combining school-based management with teacher incentives to gain the best of both approaches; the potential of recent innovations in student achievement testing, including new "value-added" indicators; and, the economic factors involved in maintaining an adequate stock of effective teachers. The volume also explores why, despite similar standards of living, France, the Netherlands, England, Scotland, and the United States produce different levels of education achievement. "Improving America's Schools" informs the current debate over school reform with a fresh perspective, examples, and data. This readable volume will be of interest to policymakers, researchers, educators, and education administrators as well as economists and employers - it is also readily accessible to concerned parents and the larger community.

1 Introduction
Dale W. Jorgenson
2 Research-Based School Reform: The Clinton Administration's Agenda
Marshall S. Smith, Brett W. Scoll, and Jeffrey Link
3 Outcomes, Costs, and Incentives in Schools
Eric A. Hanushek
4 Changes in the Structure of Wages
Brooks Pierce and Finis Welch
5 The Effects of School-Based Management Plans
Anita A. Summers and Amy W. Johnson
6 Management Decentralization and Performance-Based Incentives: Theoretical Considerations for Schools
Jane Hannaway
7 Signaling, Incentives, and School Organization in France, the Netherlands, Britain, and the United States
John H. Bishop
8 Public School Partnerships: Community, Family, and School Factors in Determining Child Outcomes
Rebecca Maynard with Meredith Kelsey
9 Using Student Assessments for Educational Accountability
Daniel Koretz
10 Value-Added Indicators of School Performance
Robert H. Meyer
11 Economics of School Reform for At-Risk Students
Henry M. Levin
12 Staffing the Nation's Schools with Skilled Teachers
Richard J. Mumane