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Sorting and Choice in English Secondary Schools

  • Simon Burgess
  • Brendon McConnell
  • Carol Propper
  • Deborah Wilson

    ()

This paper focuses on one of the outcomes arising from England’s choice based education system; the extent to which different types of pupils are sorted across schools. Pupil sorting will in turn impact on attainment outcomes, if there are peer group effects operating within schools. We consider three dimensions across which sorting may occur: ethnicity, income, and, for the first time using UK data, ability. We use a very large administrative dataset which contains linked histories of test scores for every pupil in England, as well as pupil level markers for ethnicity and low household income, and their home postcode (zip code). We first establish that choice is both feasible for and exercised by the majority of pupils in England. We then characterise and describe ability sorting and related it to feasibility of choice. We compare sorting across schools with sorting across neighbourhoods. We establish that post-residential school choice is an important component of the overall schooling decision. We show that there is a difference in the school-neighbourhood sorting relationship between areas that operate under different student-to-school assignment rules.

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File URL: http://www.bris.ac.uk/Depts/CMPO/workingpapers/wp111.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK in its series The Centre for Market and Public Organisation with number 04/111.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bri:cmpowp:04/111
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Web page: http://www.bris.ac.uk/cmpo/
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  1. Bradley, Steve & Taylor, Jim, 1998. "The Effect of School Size on Exam Performance in Secondary Schools," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 60(3), pages 291-324, August.
  2. Clotfelter, Charles T., 1998. "Public School Segregation in Metropolitan Areas," Working Papers 98-12, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  3. Dennis N. Epple & Richard Romano, 2003. "Neighborhood Schools, Choice, and the Distribution of Educational Benefits," NBER Chapters, in: The Economics of School Choice, pages 227-286 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Deborah Wilson, 2004. "Which Ranking? The Impact of a 'Value-Added' Measure of Secondary School Performance," Public Money & Management, Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, vol. 24(1), pages 37-45, 01.
  5. Caroline M. Hoxby, 2002. "School Choice and School Productivity (or Could School Choice be a Tide that Lifts All Boats?)," NBER Working Papers 8873, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Paul Peterson & William Howell & Patrick J. Wolf & David Campbell, 2003. "School Vouchers. Results from Randomized Experiments," NBER Chapters, in: The Economics of School Choice, pages 107-144 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Cutler, David & Vigdor, Jacob & Glaeser, Edward, 1999. "The Rise and Decline of the American Ghetto," Scholarly Articles 2770033, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  8. Deborah Wilson & Bronwyn Croxson & Adele Atkinson, 2004. "“What Gets Measured Gets Done”: Headteachers’ Responses to the English Secondary School," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 04/107, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  9. Simon Burgess & Deborah Wilson, 2004. "Ethnic Segretation in England's Schools," CASE Papers 079, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
  10. Caroline Minter Hoxby, 2003. "School Choice and School Productivity. Could School Choice Be a Tide that Lifts All Boats?," NBER Chapters, in: The Economics of School Choice, pages 287-342 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Dennis Epple & David Figlio & Richard Romano, 2000. "Competition Between Private and Public Schools: Testing Stratification and Pricing Predictions," NBER Working Papers 7956, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Epple, Dennis & Romano, Richard E, 1998. "Competition between Private and Public Schools, Vouchers, and Peer-Group Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 33-62, March.
  13. S Bradley & R Crouchly & J Millington & J Taylor, . "Testing for Quasi-Market Forces in Secondary Education," Working Papers cr03/98, Department of Economics, University of Lancaster.
  14. Simon Burgess & Ruth Lupton & Deborah Wilson, 2004. "Parallel lives? Ethnic segregation in the playground and the neighbourhood," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 04/094, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  15. repec:lan:wpaper:1092 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. Gibbons, Steve & Machin, Stephen, 2003. "Valuing English primary schools," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 197-219, March.
  17. repec:lan:wpaper:1016 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Simon Burgess & Brendon McConnell & Carol Propper & Deborah Wilson, 2003. "Girls Rock, Boys Roll: An Analysis of the Age 14-16 Gender Gap in English Schools," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 03/084, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
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