Multivariate Analysis of Schools and Educational Policy.

by Herbert J. Kiesling

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Revised version of a report for the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Program Evaluation, HEW. Production function analysis of education is futile because of data limitations. However, multivariate analysis of available data can yield important policy guidance, if we (1) use comparable measures across experiments, (2) systematically account for socioeconomic differences, and (3) analyze schools as systems rather than studying variables in isolation. We already know, from 15 multivariate analyses, that teacher training seems unrelated to performance, but teachers' verbal intelligence is highly related; mothers' education is an important predictor of children's achievement; and ability tracking improves overall achievement, but depressed the lowest group in one study. Researchers should pay more attention to pupil mobility, school management and facilities, audiovisual aids, team teaching, and especially school size. A research plan for a National Institute of Education is outlined. 56 pp. Bibliog.

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