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Selection and tracking in secondary education; A cross country analysis of student performance and educational opportunities

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  • Korthals R.A.

    (GSBE)

Abstract

This paper examines the effect of tracking in secondary school on student performance and educational opportunities, taking into account whether prior performance is considered when students are selected in the different tracks. The sample consists of data from the Programme for International Student Assessment 2009 for around 185,000 students in 31 comparable countries. The results are controlled for student- and school-level confounders. The results indicate that when tracking is implemented, it does not have a direct relation with performance. However, system and school interactions reveal that a highly differentiated system is best for student performance when schools always take into account prior performance to decide on student acceptance. In systems with a fewtracks, admission rules have less of an impact and tracking is only mildly associated with performance. Equality of opportunity is best provided for in a system with many tracks, especially when schools always consider entrance requirements. However, caution is warranted in interpreting these results since selection issues could play a role.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics (GSBE) in its series Research Memorandum with number 054.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:unm:umagsb:2013054

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  1. Pekkarinen, Tuomas & Uusitalo, Roope & Kerr, Sari, 2009. "School Tracking and Development of Cognitive Skills," IZA Discussion Papers 4058, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Gabriela Schütz & Heinrich Ursprung & Ludger Woessmann, 2005. "Education Policy and Equality of Opportunity," CESifo Working Paper Series 1518, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Caroline Hoxby, 2000. "Peer Effects in the Classroom: Learning from Gender and Race Variation," NBER Working Papers 7867, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Dronkers, Jaap & van der Velden, Rolf & Dunne, Allison, 2011. "Why are migrant students better off in certain types of educational systems or schools than in others?," MPRA Paper 37261, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. van Elk, Roel & van der Steeg, Marc & Webbink, Dinand, 2011. "Does the timing of tracking affect higher education completion?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 1009-1021, October.
  6. Figlio, David N. & Page, Marianne E., 2002. "School Choice and the Distributional Effects of Ability Tracking: Does Separation Increase Inequality?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 497-514, May.
  7. Dronkers, Jaap, 2010. "Positieve maar ook negatieve effecten van etnische diversiteit in scholen op onderwijsprestaties? Een empirische toets met internationale PISA-data
    [Positive but also negative effects of ethnic div
    ," MPRA Paper 23824, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Tuomas Pekkarinen, 2008. "Gender Differences in Educational Attainment: Evidence on the Role of Tracking from a Finnish Quasi-experiment," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 110(4), pages 807-825, December.
  9. Fuchs, Thomas & Woessmann, Ludger, 2004. "What Accounts for International Differences in Student Performance? A Re-Examination Using PISA Data," IZA Discussion Papers 1287, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Roland G. Fryer, 2011. "Teacher Incentives and Student Achievement: Evidence from New York City Public Schools," NBER Working Papers 16850, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Sacerdote, Bruce, 2011. "Peer Effects in Education: How Might They Work, How Big Are They and How Much Do We Know Thus Far?," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
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