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Curricula tracking and central examinations: counterbalancing the Impact of social background on student achievement in 36 countries

  • Bol, Thijs
  • Witschge, Jacqueline
  • Van de Werfhorst, Herman
  • Dronkers, Jaap

Tracked educational systems are associated with a greater social inequality in children’s educational achievement. Until now research has assumed that the impact of tracking on the inequality of educational opportunity is independent of other educational institutional features. Using data from the 2006 PISA survey, we study how central examinations affect the association between tracking and inequality. We find that parent’s social class has a larger effect on student achievement in systems without central examinations, whereas in systems with central examinations this relationship is attenuated. We argue that central examinations help hold schools accountable for their performance, thereby making it more likely for schools to allocate students to tracks and reward them on the basis of objective indicators, thereby reducing the impact of parental status on children’s performance.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 44675.

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Date of creation: Feb 2013
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:44675
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  1. Gabriela Schütz & Heinrich Ursprung & Ludger Woessmann, 2005. "Education Policy and Equality of Opportunity," CESifo Working Paper Series 1518, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. David N. Figlio & Marianne E. Page, 2000. "School Choice and the Distributional Effects of Ability Tracking: Does Separation Increase Equality?," NBER Working Papers 8055, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Eric A. Hanushek & Ludger Wößmann, 2005. "Does Educational Tracking Affect Performance and Inequality? Differences-in-Differences Evidence across Countries," Ifo Working Paper Series Ifo Working Paper No. 1, Ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
  4. repec:mpr:mprres:6364 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Thomas Fuchs & Ludger Woessmann, 2004. "What Accounts for International Differences in Student Performance? A Re-examination using PISA Data," Econometric Society 2004 Australasian Meetings 274, Econometric Society.
  6. Entorf, Horst & Lauk, Martina, 2007. "Peer effects, social multipliers and migrants at school: An international comparison," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 57, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
  7. Brunello, Giorgio & Checchi, Daniele, 2006. "Does School Tracking Affect Equality of Opportunity? New International Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 2348, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Tuomas Pekkarinen & Roope Uusitalo & Sari Kerr, 2009. "School tracking and development of cognitive skills," Working Papers 2, Government Institute for Economic Research Finland (VATT).
  9. Costas Meghir & Mårten Palme, 2004. "Educational reform, ability and family background," IFS Working Papers W04/10, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  10. Chiang, Hanley, 2009. "How accountability pressure on failing schools affects student achievement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(9-10), pages 1045-1057, October.
  11. Caroline Hoxby, 2000. "Peer Effects in the Classroom: Learning from Gender and Race Variation," NBER Working Papers 7867, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Bishop, J., 1997. "The Effect of national Standards and Curriculum-Based Exams on Achievement," Papers 97-01, Cornell - Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies.
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