ROLES OF SCHOOL DISTRICT COMPETITION AND POLITICAL INSTITUTIONS IN PUBLIC SCHOOL SPENDING AND STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT
1 online resource (159 pages) : PDF
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Equity in school district spending, and equity and productive efficiency in educational outcomes are of paramount importance in the literature on K-12 public education in the US. The research on the effects of school choice (operationalized as inter-school district competition) and local political institutions on unequal school district spending and equity and productive efficiency in educational outcomes is not adequate. This dissertation fills several gaps in the literature by 1) extending the literature on the Public Choice, the Leviathan, the Consolidated Local Government, and the Reformism models that examines the interactive roles of local political institutions and school choice on equity in spending, productive efficiency and equity in student achievement in public schools in metropolitan areas; and 2) modeling the equity effects of school choice and political institutions on school district spending and student achievement. Fixed effects, instrumental variable fixed effects, Hausman-Taylor regression, and Multilevel Linear regression models are utilized on a uniquely compiled longitudinal dataset from several sources, including the Popularly Elected Officials Survey from the US Census Bureau, the Local Education Agency (School District) Longitudinal Finance Survey, the National Education Longitudinal Study (NELS: 1988-92), and the School District Demographics System from the National Center for Education Statistics. Results from fixed effects models lend support for interactive effects of political institutions and inter-school district competition on school district spending. Additive and interactive models do not robustly support the equity effects of inter-school district competition on school district spending. However, results from fixed effects and instrumental variable fixed effects models support the equity effects of political institutions on school district spending in some cases. School districts with more professional political institutions are also more equitable in public education spending.Results show that whereas inter-school district competition has productive efficiency effects on student achievement the political institutions do not. In terms of equity, the inter-school district competition and political institutions have differential effects on student achievement. In regard to the former, results imply that the increased inter-school district competition leads to inequity in students' 10th grade reading scores and 12th grade reading and math scores. In regard to the latter, results suggest that differences in political institutions across school districts lead to inequity in students' 10th and 12th grade reading and math scores. School districts with more professional political institutions also have more equitable student achievement. Student's reading and math scores are generally higher in comparatively higher income quintile school districts than those in comparatively lower income quintile school districts. These findings assume significance as they inform the policymakers in regard to why and how organizational and political contexts matter in bringing desirable educational outcomes. The policymakers can bring organizational and political changes in school districts for achieving the goal of more effective public education.
Godwin, KenCampbell, HarrisonSaydam, Cem
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 2013.
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