Who Creams? Explaining the Classroom Cream-Skimming Behavior of School Teachers from a Street-Level Bureaucracy Perspective

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Abstract

Ideas as to how and why individuals resort to creaming are generated primarily by a few qualitative studies and have, to our knowledge, not been tested quantitatively. This article aims to fill this gap and explains the classroom cream-skimming behavior of school teachers in Denmark, defined as prioritizing the teaching of academically promising students. Drawing on the street-level bureaucracy literature, it tests the following propositions: (1) creaming is directly related to an inadequacy of resources, and this relationship is moderated by the breadth of parental involvement in their children’s education; (2) creaming is weakly related to the presence of bureaucratic success criteria; and (3) creaming is directly related to the level of parental involvement in and satisfaction with their children’s education. These are tested using data from a 2011 survey of Danish and mathematics teachers in public and private schools across Denmark, and a class-fixed-effects design. Overall, the findings provide varying support for these propositions.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Public Management Journal
Volume22
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)524-559
Number of pages36
ISSN1096-7494
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 May 2019

Keywords

  • schools, courses and institutions

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