In this era of increased accountability of public schools, standardized testing has been selected as a primary tool for assessing school performance. Since 1999 the state of California has used a summary measure of student test scores, the Academic Performance Index (API), to rank all public schools and has attached rewards and sanctions to the results. Analysis of 2 years of API scores for two large urban districts using variables measuring student socioeconomic status, teacher training and experience, and school characteristics provides strong evidence that this measure of school performance is largely driven by the socioeconomic conditions of the school. Teacher training and experience also have positive effects on school performance.
- Teacher qualifications
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