Efficiency and Equity in Learning Communities and schools

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Traditionally, school efficiency has been measured as a function of educational production. In the last two decades, however, studies in the economics of education have indicated that more is required to improve school efficiency: researchers must explore how significant changes in school organization affect the performance of at-risk students. In this paper we introduce Henry Levin’s adoption of the X-efficiency approach to education and we describe the efficient and cost-effective characteristics of one Learning Communities Project School that significantly improved its student outcomes and enrollment numbers and reduced its absenteeism rate to zero. The organizational change that facilitated these improvements defined specific issues to address. Students’ school success became the focus of the school project, which also offered specific incentives, selected teachers, involved parents and community members in decisions, and used the most efficient technologies and methods. This case analysis reveals new two elements—family training and community involvement—that were not explicit parts of Levin’s adaptation. The case of the Antonio Machado Public School should attract the attention of both social scientists and policy makers ​
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