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Willing but Unable: Short-Term Experimental Evidence on Parent Empowerment and School Quality

Elizabeth Beasley
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Abstract

Giving communities power over school management and spending decisions has been a favored strategy to increase school quality, but its effectiveness may be limited by weak capacity and low authority. We examine the short-term responses of a grant to school committees in a context such a context and find that overall, parents increased participation and responsibility, but these efforts did not improve quality. Enrollment at the lowest grades increased and school resources improved, but teacher absenteeism increased, and there was no impact on test scores. We examine heterogeneous impacts, and provide a model of school quality explaining the results and other results in the literature. The findings of this paper imply that strategies to improve quality by empowering parents should take levels of community authority and capacity into account: even when communities are willing to work to improve their schools, they may not be able to do so.
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hal-03460075 , version 1 (01-12-2021)

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Elizabeth Beasley, Elise Huillery. Willing but Unable: Short-Term Experimental Evidence on Parent Empowerment and School Quality. 2015. ⟨hal-03460075⟩
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