School management, grants, and test scores: experimental evidence from Mexico

Author(s): Romero, Mauricio; Bedoya, Juan; Yanez-Pagans, Monica; Silveyra, Marcela; De Hoyos, Rafael

Organisation(s): World Bank

Date: 2021

Pages: 53 p.

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This paper presents the results of a large-scale randomized experiment conducted across 1,496 public primary schools in Mexico. The experiment identifies the impact on schools’ managerial capacity and student test scores of providing schools with: (a) cash grants, (b) managerial training for school principals, or (c) both. The school principals’ managerial training focused on improving principals’ capacities to collect and use data to monitor students’ basic numeracy and literacy skills and provide feedback to teachers on their instruction and pedagogical practices. After two years of implementing these interventions, the study finds that: (a) the cash grant had no impact on the student’s test scores or the management capacity of school principals; (b) the managerial training improved school principals’ managerial capacity but had no impact on students’ test scores; and (c) the combination of cash grants and managerial training amplified the effect on the school principals’ managerial capacity and had a positive but statistically insignificant impact on students’ test scores.

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