PurposeThis research investigates the impact of managerial practices implemented by Italian school principals on students' outcomes, using micro-data provided by the National Evaluation Committee for Education (INVALSI) for 2013/14 school year.Design/methodology/approachEmploying an educational production function, the authors regress a set of student and school's characteristics, enriched by information from a questionnaire filled by school principals to estimate student's score at grade 8 (last year of junior secondary school), also taking into account student's prior achievement (at grade 6 – first year of junior secondary school).FindingsIndicators about managerial practices have positive coefficients, but low statistical significance. Stronger associations between management variables and test scores are detected for low-SES schools.Originality/valueThe research presented here is particularly innovative in the Italian context, where little evidence exists about the impact of managerial skills in education, though institutional reforms are leading towards a strengthening of school principal's leadership role. In this paper, the authors move a first step by describing managerial practices and their diffusion in different schools and geographical areas within the country. The authors focus the attention on the role of managerial practices (what principals do) and not on the managerial skills (what principals are able to do).
International Journal of Educational Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 4, 2020
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