RISE Working Paper 17/013 - School Management and Public-Private Partnerships in Uganda

Can the quality of school management explain differences in student test scores? In this paper, I present the first internationally benchmarked estimates of school management quality in Africa (based on the “World Management Survey”). The level and distribution of management quality is similar to that found in other low and middle-income countries (India and Brazil). I combine this data with individual student panel data, and demonstrate that differences in school management quality matter for student value-added - a standard deviation difference in management is associated with a 0.06 standard deviation difference in test scores. Finally, I contribute to understanding the role of the private sector in education in a lowincome setting. Contrary to common perception, I find no difference between the quality of school management in government, private, or public-private partnership (PPP) schools (despite the higher level of autonomy available to them). An exception is an internationally-owned chain of PPP schools, which are as well managed as schools in the UK.