The quality of the Catalan and Spanish education systems: A perspective from PISA
For Catalonia and Spain, public perception is that the PISA reports show that their education systems are underperforming. The goal of this chapter is to quantify how much of the Catalan and Spanish PISA score can be attributed to the education levels of parents and what part must instead be explained by other factors. To do so we use standard statistical techniques to examine how the Catalan and Spanish PISA score would have compared with other countries and regions if all had the same parental education levels and immigration levels. For Spain the main results show that there is a sizable increase in PISA scores relative to the rest of Europe when parental schooling is accounted for. But Spain's performance is rather poor to start out with and only rises to somewhat above average when accounting for parental education levels. For Catalonia accounting for parental education levels leads to small improvements in the PISA score compared to other Spanish regions and to Flanders, Lombardy, and Denmark. Moreover, immigration or the concentration of immigrants at some schools accounts for little of the below average performance of Catalonia.
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