Perspectives on School Effectiveness
Effectiveness can now be described as the extent to which the desired level of output is achieved. Efficiency may then be defined as the desired level of output against the lowest possible cost. In other words, efficiency is effectiveness with the additional requirement that this is achieved in the cheapest possible manner. Cheng (1993) offers a further elaboration of the effectiveness and efficiency definitions, by incorporating the dimension of short term output versus long term outcomes. In his terms: technical effectiveness and technical efficiency refer to “school outputs limited to those in school or just after schooling (e.g. learning behavior, skills obtained, attitude change, etc.)”. Social effectiveness and efficiency are associated with “effects on the society level or the life-long effects on individuals (e.g. social mobility, earnings, work productivity)” (ibid, p. 2). When crossing these two dimensions four types of school output are discerned; see Table 10.2. It is vitally important for the economic analysis of efficiency and effectiveness that the value of inputs and outputs can be expressed in terms of money. For determining efficiency it is necessary that input costs like teaching materials and teachers' salaries are known. When the outputs can also be expressed in financial terms efficiency determination is more like a cost-benefit analysis (Lockheed, 1988, p. 4). It has to be
noted, however, that a strict implementation of the above-mentioned economic characterization of school effectiveness runs up against many problems.