Evaluating the impact of closing a community managed schools programme in El Salvador
School-based management (SBM) is considered a low-cost way of making public spending on education more efficient by increasing the accountability of the agents and empowering clients to improve learning outcomes. By putting power in the hands of the end users, SBM can lead to better school management that is more responsive to the needs of end users. Yet, countries around the world are struggling to understand whether SBM models contribute to student learning and advancement in schools. Moreover, there are few impact evaluations that provide us with concrete data on the effectiveness of SBM.
The purpose of this impact evaluation is to understand whether different school management modelsIn El Salvador have an impact on student advancement.
The policy choice to change the school-based management model was the appropriate and most cost-beneficial policy choice. The following are the main findings of this evaluation.
- the change in school management models has reduced affected the ability of local SMCs to hold teachers accountable for being present at the former EDUCO schools. Community perceptions suggest that teacher absenteeism has increased and that it is contributing to the decrease in student advancement
- the results from the hierarchical growth models showed that there was no statistically significant impact on student advancement in the former EDUCO schools that resulted from changing the SBM model
- closing the EDUCO program was cost beneficial from the standpoint of per pupil costs. It was not accompanied with a negative impact on student advancement and provided a more stable employment situation for teachers
- closing the EDUCO program did not come without losses. For 20 years, the program enrolled and helped students who would otherwise not be in school to complete primary education. The advancement rates and learning outcomes improved faster than those in the non-EDUCO schools, which demonstrates its clear value in providing a strong model for education in rural areas
- in terms of school management and accountability in El Salvador, MINED centralised control of SBM. The new Teacher Directive Law has led to improvements in the role and dignity of teachers, empowered school directors and increased the equality of resources at schools. It has, however, substantively decreased the role that communities, particularly SMCs, play in increasing accountability at the school