Academic journal article Journal of Economics and Economic Education Research

Efficiency of Municipal Schools in Rio De Janeiro: Evidence from Two-Stage DEA

Academic journal article Journal of Economics and Economic Education Research

Efficiency of Municipal Schools in Rio De Janeiro: Evidence from Two-Stage DEA

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

According to the United Nations (UN), education is a fundamental human right and essential for the exercise of all other human rights (UNESCO, 2014); but, despite this, the resources applied in education compete with those applied to other sectors, such as infrastructure development and health, among others.

According to the OECD (2014) report, in 2011, per-student expenditure in Brazil was 2,985 USD, compared with an average of 8,952 USD in OECD countries--this despite Brazil spending 6.1% of GDP on education, i.e., one percentage point more than the average of 5.6% of other countries. This difference is even more apparent when assessing spending as a percentage of public spending, which in Brazil is 19%, compared to 13% in OECD countries. This situation is explained by the liability posed by the country's low level of socioeconomic development and low per-capita income compared with OECD countries. However, the above-average spending is testament to the government's intention to change this picture.

On average, between 2000 and 2013, Brazil invested 5.1% of GDP on education; moreover, the trend has been upward, increasing to 6.2% in 2013. Of this percentage, about 30% equivalent to 1.7% of GDP is earmarked for elementary education (INEP, 2015), i.e., the cycle studied this paper.

In 2011, the municipality of Rio de Janeiro spent 1.840 billion USD on education, of which 85.6% was earmarked for Primary School (FNDE, 2011).

Considering the high amounts spent, the need for good management of resources is essential to avoid waste and foster efficiency in a country where the state is charged with providing free education.

Each year, the Sistema de Avaliacao do Ensino Basico (Basic Education Evaluation System) (SAEB) conducts a census; and, every two years, students graduating from each stage of basic education are tested (the Prova Brasil) in order to assess the quality of education (BRASIL, 2014). In view of the numbers above and focusing on elementary schools run by the city of Rio de Janeiro, this work proposes, firstly, to assess the efficiency of these schools using Data Envelopment Analysis.

The inputs were the number of rooms, number of computers, number of employees, and number of teachers. Outputs comprised the average score obtained in the Prova Brasil, average pass rate, and the number of students served by the school (enrollment).

In a second step, using a bootstrapped truncated regression based on the methodology proposed by Simar and Wilson (2007), it was sought to identify the environmental variables that have a significant impact on efficiency. The intention is to highlight aspects that influence school performance in terms of efficiency and indicate improvements that can be made by public policies and managers.

After this introduction, a literature review is presented where aspects related to school effectiveness in the Brazilian scenario are addressed. Following is the presentation of the methodology used, divided into the presentation of the method itself and then with respect to obtaining and filtering the data. The results are interpreted and discussed, followed by the conclusions of the study.

REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE

The Education Development Plan explains that Brazil seeks to provide education that is equitable and of good quality (BRASIL, 2008). Thus, education in Brazil is organized into four areas: basic education, higher education, vocational education, and literacy. This work focuses on Basic Education, which, in turn, is divided into elementary school (1st--5th grade); middle school (6th--9th grade); and high school, (10th--12th grade).

In Brazil, it is the sole purview of the federal government to pass laws on guidelines and rules for national education. The rules state that the municipalities are to prioritize primary and early childhood education and that the states and the Federal District shall prioritize primary and secondary education. …

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