Panel Paper: Applying Dynamic Performance Management to Detect Behavioral Distortions Associated with the Use of Formal Performance Measurement Systems in Public Schools

Thursday, November 2, 2017
San Francisco (Hyatt Regency Chicago)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Carmine Bianchi and Robinson S. Salazar Rua, University of Palermo

Test based accountability systems are widely used around the world to evaluate the performance of public schools. These measurement systems are constantly exposed to behavioral distortions, which negatively impact the outcomes of education. The aim of this paper is to outline a Dynamic Performance Management (DPM) model to support the design of consistent and comprehensive performance measurement systems that may prevent unintended behaviors in the specific context of schools. This approach allows one preventing, detecting and facing dysfunctional behaviors thanks to the identification and comprehension of how performance drivers and policy levers impact on the end-results, and how such results feed back on strategic resources. In order to frame the unintended effects generated by performance measurement systems introduced by the central government to evaluate public-funded organizations, we applied DPM to the case of Colombian district schools. The case illustrates how governmental measurement systems, focused on standardized tests, caused problems with narrowing curricula to maximize test scores. An insight DPM simulation model, based on such case-study, is discussed in the last section of the paper.