Academic Performance: Does School Quality Really Make The Difference?

September, 2016 – Determinants of students’ performance have been the subject of ongoing debate among educators, academics, and policymakers. Many studies have explored this issue, and their findings point to the influence of teachers, school quality, parents’ education, family income, and self-motivation among other factors that have a significant effect on student academic performance.

For the development of a society, it becomes necessary to provide quality education to its people. Parents, schools, and policymakers need to know which factors have the greatest impact on student performance. This knowledge helps people understand how to improve students’ academic performance.

We [researchers] spend much of our time working with lots of data to discover the influence of various factors on academic performance. We assume that lots of people know what we know, that a students academic achievement is influenced by lots of factors both in and outside of school. But it dawned on us that many people thought of achievement gaps as largely originating from schools, and by extension, that its mostly the responsibility of schools to close these gaps. Says Dr. Amanuel Medhane


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He says further, So we thought it would be helpful to produce something for a general audience about what the research has to say on this topic. We hope that viewers of our short video [] come to the conclusion that addressing achievement gaps requires supporting the whole child and not just while he or she is in a classroom.

The video produced by Dr. Medhanie and his colleagues states that only 26% of the differences seen between students on academic performance is due to schools which means that 74% or more is due to non-school factors. The implication of this fact is that, even if we make all schools exceptional, we’d still have 74% or more of our existing achievement gaps. Therefore, if society wants all students to succeed academically, we also have to support the students’ life outside of school (e.g. their families, communities, etc.).

The video was produced by Parsimony, a data consulting company. For more information about Parsimony, visit

Media Contact
Company Name: Parsimony Inc.
Contact Person: Amanuel Medhane
Phone: 612 547 8287
Country: United States