School infrastructure and resources do matter

School Effectiveness and School Improvement
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TERCE 2013
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School infrastructure and resources do matter

Analysis of the incidence of school resources on the performance of Latin American students


The purpose of this investigation is to determine the incidence of school infrastructure and resources and its impact on the academic performance of primary education students in Latin America. A 4-level multilevel model was applied to the data of the Second Regional Comparative and Explanatory Study (SERCE) conducted by UNESCO, which researched 180,000 students in the 3rd and 6th grades of primary education at 3,000 schools from 15 countries in Latin America. Results show that the availability of basic infrastructure and services (water, electricity, sewage), didactic facilities (sport installations, labs, libraries), as well as the number of books in the library and computers in the school do have an effect on the achievement of primary education students in Latin America, but their relative weight varies significantly from country to country. These results indicate the need to continue investment in resources and facilities and to incorporate this factor into school effectiveness models that are meant to become universal.