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The Impact of the 1999 Education Reform in Poland

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    Increasing the share of vocational secondary schooling has been a mainstay of development policy for decades, especially in formerly socialist countries. However, the transition to market economies led to significant restructuring of school systems and a decline in the number of vocational students. Exposing more students to a general curriculum could improve academic abilities. To test the hypothesis that delayed vocational streaming improves academic outcomes, this paper analyses Poland’s significant improvement in international achievement tests and the restructuring of the education system, which expanded general schooling. Using propensity-score matching and difference-in-differences estimates, the authors show that delaying vocational education had a positive and significant impact on student performance on the order of one standard deviation. L’expansion de l’enseignement secondaire professionnel a été un pilier de la politique de développement pendant plusieurs décennies, peut-être davantage dans les anciens pays socialistes que partout ailleurs. La transition a cependant conduit à une importante restructuration des systèmes scolaires, et notamment à une diminution de la proportion d’élèves en enseignement professionnel. L’augmentation de la proportion d’élèves inscrits en filières générales pourrait améliorer les aptitudes aux études supérieures. Cet article analyse la forte amélioration des scores obtenus par la Pologne aux tests internationaux et la restructuration du système éducatif qui a développé l’enseignement général afin de tester l’hypothèse de l’amélioration des résultats induite par une orientation plus tardive en classes de niveau. À partir d’estimations obtenues par appariement sur scores de propension et par différence de différences, les auteurs montrent que l’orientation plus tardive en filières professionnelles a eu un impact positif important, de l’ordre d’un écart-type, sur les résultats des élèves.

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    Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Education Working Papers with number 49.

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    Date of creation: 09 Jun 2011
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    Handle: RePEc:oec:eduaab:49-en
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    1. Murnane, Richard J & Willett, John B & Levy, Frank, 1995. "The Growing Importance of Cognitive Skills in Wage Determination," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(2), pages 251-66, May.
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    17. Hanushek, Eric A, 1986. "The Economics of Schooling: Production and Efficiency in Public Schools," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 24(3), pages 1141-77, September.
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    19. Gruber, Jonathan, 1994. "The Incidence of Mandated Maternity Benefits," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 622-41, June.
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