In this paper we investigate the determinants of student performance in mathematics and dictation tests among fourth-grade school children in Indonesia. We use a unique dataset of school and student information that was collected in a nationally representative survey of 110 public schools in 8 Indonesian provinces in 2003. Using an OLS regression technique that compensates for heteroskedasticity, we conduct separate sets of student-level regressions for three performance variables: math scores, dictation scores and combined scores. We found that student performance is strongly influenced by individual variables, teacher variables and school variables. Among the significant variables are the education level of parents; student-teacher ratio; quality of school facilities and teacher absence rate. We also discuss the policy implications of the results.
Key words: absenteeism; primary school; achievement.