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Essays on Finance, Accountability, and Publication Bias in the Economics of Education.

  • Author(s): Tanner, Patrick Sean
  • Advisor(s): Johnson, Rucker C
  • et al.
Abstract

School quality exerts a significant impact on children well beyond their school-age years. High quality primary and secondary schools improve educational attainment, reduce criminal behavior, and increase labor market performance. Decades of federal and state policy efforts have sought to ensure broad access to effective schools. Two of the most consequential reform efforts of the past thirty years, school accountability and financial adequacy reforms, have been moderately successful at raising average performance on standardized tests of literacy and numeracy, yet critics contend that these gains mask serious limitations. In the pages that follow, I address salient concerns of each policy by analyzing the impact of No Child Left Behind on social emotional development and the impact of California’s recent school finance reform, the Local Control Funding Formula. I conclude with an assessment of publication bias in policy-relevant scholarship.

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