Abstract: This paper examines two education programmes in Sri Lanka: the Programme for School Improvement (PSI), which decentralises decision-making power, and the School Report Card Programme (SRCP), which was designed to provide parents and other community members with information on the characteristics and performance of their local schools. Using a difference in differences identification strategy, it finds the following results. First, the PSI programme significantly increased Math and English reading test scores among Grade 4 students, but not first language (Sinhalese or Tamil) test scores. However, PSI has had no effect on any test scores of Grade 8 students. In contrast, the SRCP had no significant impacts on any test scores in either grade, and further inquiries revealed that the SRCP was never really implemented. Second, the paper examined the impact of both programmes on teacher and school principal variables. Overall, few effects were found, and in some cases effects were found that one would associate with reduced school quality. On a more positive note, the PSI programme does appear to have led schools to form School Development Committees (SDCs), as the programme stipulates, to establish a list of school priorities and to implement projects funded through local fundraising.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the World Bank and the Education for All - Fast Track Initiative.
© 2014, © 2014 Taylor & Francis.