A feedback view of behavioural distortions from perceived public service gaps at ‘street-level’ policy implementation: The case of unintended outcomes in public schools

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Abstract

This paper discusses the limitations and risks associated with the use ofoutput-oriented measures to assess public school performance. In particular,it questions the capability of the performance measures set by externalinstitutions, with respect to schools, to support sustainable educationaloutcomes. To this end, the ‘street-level bureaucracy’ theory is used in thepaper as a basis to analyse the behavioural distortions generated byperceived public service gaps at school level policy implementation. Suchunintended behavioural effects are often a major cause of disappointingoutcomes when test-based accountability systems are adopted. In the secondpart of the paper, an insight model referred to a hypothetic medium-sizedpublic school located in a poor area in Colombia is used to illustrate how afeedback approach to school performance measurement can supportdecision-makers to pursue sustainable education outcomes and to preventbehavioural distortions from perceived public service gaps at ‘street-level’policy implementation. This analysis outlines an alternative approach toschool performance measurement that might help policy makers in extendingthe domain of governmental benchmarks to performance measures andcollaborative efforts that reflect the challenges of holistic education in thecontext where public schools are located.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalSystems Research and Behavioral Science
Publication statusPublished - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences
  • Strategy and Management
  • Information Systems and Management

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