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School Performance Evaluation Using Data Envelopment Analysis

Author: DENNIS C. COATES AND DOUGLAS J. LAMDIN
Published in PFM, Vol. 2 No. 4

We advocate the use of data envelopment analysis (DEA) along with
regression and other tools of policy analysis for evaluation of resource
utilization and policies within education. In light of the increasing focus on
outcome assessment, accountability, and efficient allocation of education
resources, in a multiple output-multiple input environment, we believe that
DEA currently is underused. We emphasize interpretation of DEA results
with focus on an evaluation of the resource allocations, particularly time in
instruction, in the Illinois (U.S.) public elementary schools. We find that the
typical elementary school in Illinois could get 10 to 15 percent better scores
on state administered proficiency examinations if it used the resources it
has more effectively.

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