Economic outcomes and school quality

Huge sums of money are spent on education each year and there are those who ask if it really is necessary for people to have so much education. Although it would seem fairly self evident that education is required if the human capital in a country is to be adequate for the economic tasks required of it, there has been widespread concern that more extensive evidence is required to support this viewpoint. This booklet takes up the two-fold challenge of establishing the linkages between educational quality and national economic productivity, and then identifying those aspects of educational reform that are most likely to deliver enhanced levels of educational quality. The booklet presents arguments in favour of improved teacher quality as the key pathway to improved student performance – and offers sound advice concerning the planning and timeframe required to develop and evaluate progress towards a more effective teaching force. There are two critical elements in this discussion. First is the requirement for governments to experiment with alternative approaches to providing incentives for teachers – including various forms of teacher compensation and teacher contractual arrangements. Second is the need to recognise that one of the major impediments to school reform is the lack of regular information about what does, and does not, work. This kind of information needs to be delivered in a timely fashion and must include valid data about student educational achievement and outcomes for new and existing programmes.

Hanushek, Eric A.
Education Policy Series
Series volume
International Academy of Education
26 p.
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