Author(s): Vegas, Emiliana; Umansky, Ilana
Pages: p. 197-215
This article reports on retrospective evaluations of three Central American school-based management reforms to test the often-cited theory that devolving decision making authority to the local level can improve communication, transparency, and make teachers and school principals more accountable for improving performance. Using matching techniques, these evaluations investigate whether the reforms enhanced student learning and how they affected management processes and teacher characteristics and behaviors. The evidence indicates that all three reforms resulted in substantive changes in management and teacher characteristics and behavior and that these changes explain significant portions of resultant changes in student learning. This article contributes to the understanding of how decentralization reforms can improve learning and shows how education reforms, even when not conceptualized as affecting teacher incentives, can generate important changes for teachers that affect student learning.