Does community involvement affect teacher effort?
Assessing learning impacts of free primary education in Kenya
While the impressive school participation impacts of Universal Primary Education policies in Sub-Saharan Africa are widely recognized, attempts to measure learning gains from schooling remain minimal. Utilizing a unique international test score dataset, we measure and explain grade six reading and math learning outcomes in Kenya. By comparing competences between public and private schools before and after the introduction of free primary education, we find large achievement declines and inequalities based on gender and socioeconomic status. The declines are associated with low teacher efforts and community disengagement. Policy studies on community involvement in schools will likely lead to improved learning.