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Students’ Mathematics Academic Performance: An Interaction of Inputs from the Students, Schools, and Voters

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AbstractThis study proposes and tests a model affecting students’ mathematical academic performance in public schools. We postulate that students’ mathematical academic performance depends on the interaction of key factors associated with students, the schools, and the voters. The model incorporates variables such as the attendance rate, social and economic background of parents of the students, marital status of parents, expenditure per pupil that voters are willing to invest, proportion of school expenditure from local sources, and quality of teachers. Academic performance of students is measured by the percentage of the total number of students passing the mathematics part of the proficiency test. The three simultaneous-equations model is estimated by using data for 576 Ohio school districts. Our analysis suggests that an increased expenditure on education would improve the mathematics skills of the students. However, money alone is not sufficient. Our study implies that, along with the increased investment in education, a number of other socioeconomic variables need attention. For example, an increase in the attendance rate of students can bring a substantial improvement in the academic performance of students. An improvement in attendance rate requires reduction in poverty and an increase in the percentage of two-parent families.

Affiliations: 1: Ohio


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