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AN ANALYSIS OF THE FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE STUDENT PERFORMANCE: A FRESH APPROACH TO AN OLD DEBATE

By SANJIV JAGGIA and ALISON KELLY-HAWKE

Abstract

There is a general consensus that student performance at all levels has been deteriorating. Despite numerous attempts by researchers to link school expenditures with student performance, a clear relationship does not exist. Since a number of difficulties plague earlier studies, this paper attempts to remedy these problems by offering a better data design and a sounder methodology. This study uses the J 992 Massachusetts Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) test scores from 4-super-th, 8-super-th, and 12-super-th grade students to measure student performance. Since each student's grade falls into one of five possible categories, the application of an ordered logit model incorporates the natural ordering of the MEAP scores. The results indicate that family background and the stability of a community are the main factors affecting student performance. The data suggest that higher levels of spending have no consistent or systematic relation with student performance. (JEL 12, C25) Copyright 1999 Western Economic Association International.

DOI identifier: 10.1111/j.1465-7287.1999.tb00674.x
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