Handbook of Contemporary Education Economics
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Handbook of Contemporary Education Economics

Edited by Geraint Johnes, Jill Johnes, Tommaso Agasisti and Laura López-Torres

This Handbook provides a comprehensive overview of the modern economics of education literature, bringing together a series of original contributions by globally renowned experts in their fields. Covering a wide variety of topics, each chapter assesses the most recent research with an emphasis on skills, evaluation and data analytics.
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Chapter 14: School management and student achievements

Adriana Di Liberto


Due to the recent emphasis towards a ‘decentralization, autonomy and accountability’ model, it is widely believed that school leadership and high quality school management is one of the keys for a successful school. Despite that, few quantitative studies address whether school leadership activities affect student performance, since providing reliable quantitative measures of school management effectiveness is not an easy task. In this survey we review the different alternative methodologies and the main findings suggested by the literature. Overall, the existing results find that the quality of principal activities is positively related to student outcomes. These studies also find substantial heterogeneity in managerial practices across schools and countries. More work should be done on these issues in order to better understand how exactly school management affects students learning and to identify the best policies that improve principals’ effectiveness.

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