Do accountability and voucher threats improve low-performing schools?

David N. Figlio, Cecilia Elena Rouse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

113 Scopus citations


We study the effects of the threat of vouchers and stigma in Florida on the performance of "low-performing" schools. Estimates of the change in raw test scores from the first year of the reform are consistent with the early results which claimed large improvements associated with the threat of vouchers. However, we also find that much of this estimated effect may be due to other factors. The relative gains in reading are largely explained by changing student characteristics and the gains in math - though larger - appear limited to the high-stakes grade. We also find some evidence that these improvements were due more to the stigma of receiving the low grade rather than the threat of vouchers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)239-255
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Public Economics
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2006



  • Florida A+ Plan
  • No Child Left Behind
  • School accountability
  • School voucher threat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics

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