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Why are migrant students better off in certain types of educational systems or schools than in others? On the effects of educational systems, school composition, track level, parental background, and country of origin on the achievement of 15-year- old migrant students

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Author Info

  • Jaap Dronkers

    ()
    (Maastricht University)

  • Rolf van der Velden

    ()
    (Maastricht University)

  • Allison Dunne

    (GHK Consulting Ltd)

Abstract

The main research question of this paper is the combined estimation of the effects of educational systems, school composition, track level, and country of origin on the educational achievement of 15-year-old migrant students. We focus specifically on the effects of socioeconomic and ethnic background on achievement scores and the extent to which these effects are affected by characteristics of the school, track, or educational system in which these students are enrolled. In doing so, we examine the ‘sorting’ mechanisms of schools and tracks in highly stratified, moderately stratified, and comprehensive education systems. We use data from the 2006 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) wave. Compared with previous research in this area, the paper’s main contribution is that we explicitly include the tracks-within-school level as a separate unit of analyses, which leads to less biased results concerning the effects of educational system characteristics. The results highlight the importance of including factors of track level and school composition in the debate surrounding educational inequality of opportunity for students in different education contexts. The findings clearly indicate that the effects of educational system characteristics are flawed if the analysis only uses a country- and a student level and ignores the tracks-within-school level characteristics. From a policy perspective, the most important finding is that educational systems are neither uniformly ‘good’ nor ‘bad’, but they can result in different consequences for different migrant groups. Some migrant groups are better off in comprehensive systems, while others are better off in moderately stratified systems.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London in its series CReAM Discussion Paper Series with number 1215.

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Date of creation: May 2012
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Handle: RePEc:crm:wpaper:1215

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  1. Eric A. Hanushek & Ludger Wößmann, 2005. "Does Education Tracking Affect Performance and Inequality? Differences-In-Differences Evidence Across Countries," Discussion Papers 04-027, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  2. Deon Filmer & Lant Pritchett, 1999. "The Effect of Household Wealth on Educational Attainment: Evidence from 35 Countries," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 25(1), pages 85-120.
  3. Barry R. Chiswick & Paul W. Miller, 1999. "Immigrant Earnings: Language Skills, Linguistic Concentrations and the Business Cycle," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 152, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  4. Chiswick, Barry R & Miller, Paul M, 1996. "Ethnic Networks and Language Proficiency among Immigrants," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 19-35, February.
  5. Jaap Dronkers & Manon de Heus, 2012. "The Educational Performance of Children of Immigrants in Sixteen OECD Countries," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1210, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  6. Levels, Mark & Dronkers, Jaap Dronkers & Kraaykamp, Gerbert, 2006. "Educational Achievement of Immigrant Children in Western Countries: Origin, Destination, and Community Effects on Mathematical Performance," MPRA Paper 21653, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Dronkers, Jaap & Avram, S, 2009. "A cross-national analysis of the relations between school choice and effectiveness differences between private-dependent and public schools," MPRA Paper 23911, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. André, Stéfani & Dronkers, Jaap & Fleischmann, Fenella, 2008. "Verschillen in groepsdiscriminatie, zoals waargenomen door immigranten uit verschillende herkomstlanden in veertien lidstaten van de Europese Unie
    [Perception of in-group discrimination among immig
    ," MPRA Paper 22019, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Dronkers, Jaap & Heus, Manon de, 2009. "Negative selectivity of Europe’s guest-worker immigration?," MPRA Paper 22213, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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