D. Stumbrienė, R. Želvys, R. Dukynaitė, A. Jakaitienė
World Education Research Association Focal Meeting 2020+1 Networking Education: Diverse Realities, Common Horizons Together with the 17th Spanish & 9th Ibero-American Education Conference, 2021 m. liepos 7-9 d., Santjago de Kompostela, Ispanija. Virtuali
Abstract. This paper presents the efficiency and effectiveness analysis of performance with an overall view of European educational systems. The focus is on equity in education (ensuring that all students get necessary skills) and fairness (ensuring that all students, regardless of their background, with equal opportunities can achieve learning success). The frontier techniques are typically applied in efficiency researches, but there are only few studies where educational equity is analysed. We employed Data Envelopment Analysis to estimate the efficiency of education systems in Europe and Benefit-of-the-Doubt model to estimate the effectiveness. This study compares the relationship between efficiency and effectiveness of European countries’ educational systems. The comparison among educational systems based on key-stage of education: early childhood, primary, lower secondary, upper secondary and tertiary education. The purpose of this paper is to provide a comprehensive evaluation of education systems considering key-stages of education and compare the performance of European countries in the context of educational equity and fairness. The results obtained can be used to identify best-practices and guide improvements of national educational systems.
Nowadays, more than ever, governments worldwide face increased pressure to ensure that their educational systems deliver the best performance results, i.e. organising the work of educational systems in a more efficient, effective, equitable and accessible manner. As stated by Peter Drucker “Efficiency is doing things right” whereas “Effectiveness is doing the right thing”. Both efficiency and effectiveness are an integral part of a successful management. Efficiency is the use of financial, human, physical and information resources such that output is maximized for any given set of resource inputs, or input is minimized for any given quantity and quality of output. Effectiveness involves planning the right strategy and concentrating on the alignment of outcomes with the goals to be achieved by the organization.
From a methodological perspective, frontier techniques are typically applied in efficiency researches. We can evaluate the efﬁciency of a homogeneous units and guide improvements. Despite the fact that the performance evaluation of education systems is at the top of the agenda of governments and education authorities worldwide, research involving cross-country comparisons of the performance of education systems is still incipient. Only a small number of frontier-based efficiency studies of the education sector have focused on country level or cross-country analyses (De Witte et al., 2017). As pointed out in Stumbriene et al. (2019), the most studies that focused on multi-country comparisons and employed frontier techniques analysed a single educational stage. However, the comparison among educational systems based on primary, secondary or tertiary education individually does not represent the overall education system. Only the assessment of all stages of education systems together can accurately represent the education system of a country.
The efficiency estimates are the most popular approach in the benchmarking literature, but as Peter Drucker pointed out, there is no efficiency without effectiveness. As far as we know, there is no research of educational key-stages efficiency and effectiveness estimate on multi-country comparisons. This paper contributes to the literature by presenting the efficiency and effectiveness analysis of performance with a wide-ranging view of national educational systems. The purpose of this paper is to provide a comprehensive evaluation of education systems considering key-stages of education (early childhood, primary, lower secondary, upper secondary and tertiary education) and compare the performance of European countries in the context of educational equity and fairness. The equity in education is a key objective of education (Simon, 2007).
Data Envelopment Analysis (Charnes et al., 1978) was employed to estimate the efficiency of education systems in Europe and Benefit-of-the-Doubt model (Cherchye et al., 2007) was employed to estimate the effectiveness. For the selection of input indicators, we mainly chose those which have been most frequently used in empirical assessments of efficiency in education – the education spending per student and the measure of the teaching resources. The outcomes indicators in our research represent equity in education (ensuring that all students get necessary skills) and fairness (ensuring that all students, regardless of their background, with equal opportunities can achieve learning success). The indicators of access to education, standard deviation in performance, percentage of students who performing below a baseline and percentage of resilient students are used as outcomes in our study. The data used in this paper comes from international large-scale assessments (PISA, TIMSS, PIRLS) and from international databases (Eurostat and UNESCO).
The choice of outcomes indicators representing equity and fairness in education is still state-of-the-art research in efficiency studies of the education sector. Only Thieme et al. (2012) and Gimenez et al. (2017) analysed indicators of educational equity in frontier-based efficiency studies. This research presents the relation between effectiveness and efficiency of educational key-stages in European countries according of educational equity and fairness. We noted that some countries could reach the same educational outcomes with fewer resources, for example, Luxembourg can improve its efficiency by reducing total educational expenditure per 1000 enrolled students in PPS and Lithuania by reducing the ratio of teachers and academic staff to 100 students. According to the results obtained in this study, we can provide suggestions for establishing an evidence-based and theory-driven approach to promote efficiency and effectiveness of education systems in the context of educational equity and fairness.
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