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

Author

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

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Bol, Thijs & Witschge, Jacqueline & Van de Werfhorst, Herman & Dronkers, Jaap, 2013. "Curricula tracking and central examinations: counterbalancing the Impact of social background on student achievement in 36 countries," MPRA Paper 44675, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:44675
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/44675/1/MPRA_paper_44675.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Entorf, Horst & Lauk, Martina, 2006. "Peer effects, social multipliers and migrants at school: an international comparison," Darmstadt Discussion Papers in Economics 164, Darmstadt University of Technology, Department of Law and Economics.
    2. Thomas Fuchs & Ludger Wößmann, 2007. "What accounts for international differences in student performance? A re-examination using PISA data," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 433-464, May.
    3. Eric A. Hanushek & Ludger Wössmann, 2006. "Does Educational Tracking Affect Performance and Inequality? Differences- in-Differences Evidence Across Countries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(510), pages 63-76, March.
    4. Giorgio Brunello & Daniele Checchi, 2007. "Does school tracking affect equality of opportunity? New international evidence," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 22, pages 781-861, October.
    5. Sari Pekkala Kerr & Tuomas Pekkarinen & Roope Uusitalo, 2013. "School Tracking and Development of Cognitive Skills," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(3), pages 577-602.
    6. Costas Meghir & Mårten Palme, 2005. "Educational Reform, Ability, and Family Background," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 414-424, March.
    7. Gabriela Schütz & Heinrich W. Ursprung & Ludger Wößmann, 2008. "Education Policy and Equality of Opportunity," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(2), pages 279-308, May.
    8. 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.
    9. Caroline Hoxby, 2000. "Peer Effects in the Classroom: Learning from Gender and Race Variation," NBER Working Papers 7867, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. repec:mpr:mprres:6364 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Bishop, J., 1997. "The Effect of national Standards and Curriculum-Based Exams on Achievement," Papers 97-01, Cornell - Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies.
    12. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Dronkers J., 2014. "Parental background, early scholastic ability, the allocation into secondary school tracks and language skills at the age of 15 years in a highly differentiated system: a test of the contradictions be," ROA Technical Report 001, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
    2. repec:zbw:espost:167705 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:scn:voprob:2017:i:3:p:83-109 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    tracking; stratification; inequality of educational opportunity; PISA;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy

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