The Limitations of Using School League Tables to Inform School Choice
AbstractIn England, so-called ‘league tables’ based upon examination results and test scores are published annually, ostensibly to inform parental choice of secondary schools. A crucial limitation of these tables is that the most recent published information is based on the current performance of a cohort of pupils who entered secondary schools several years earlier, whereas for choosing a school it is the future performance of the current cohort that is of interest. We show that there is substantial uncertainty in predicting such future performance and that incorporating this uncertainty leads to a situation where only a handful of schools’ future performances can be separated from both the overall mean and from one another with an acceptable degree of precision. This suggests that school league tables, including value-added ones, have very little to offer as guides to school choice.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK in its series The Centre for Market and Public Organisation with number 09/208.
Length: 17 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2009
Date of revision:
Examination results; Institutional comparisons; League tables; Multilevel modelling; Performance indicators; Ranking; School choice; School effectiveness; Value-added;
Other versions of this item:
- George Leckie & Harvey Goldstein, 2009. "The limitations of using school league tables to inform school choice," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 172(4), pages 835-851.
- I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-02-14 (All new papers)
- NEP-EDU-2009-02-14 (Education)
- NEP-URE-2009-02-14 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
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