Selection and tracking in secondary education; A cross country analysis of student performance and educational opportunities
This paper examines the effect of tracking in secondary school on student performanceand educational opportunities, taking into account whether prior performance isconsidered when students are selected in the different tracks. The sample consistsof data from the Programme for International Student Assessment 2009 for around185,000 students in 31 comparable countries. The results are controlled for student- andschool-level confounders. The results indicate that when tracking is implemented, it doesnot have a direct relation with performance. However, system and school interactionsreveal that a highly differentiated system is best for student performance when schoolsalways take into account prior performance to decide on student acceptance. In systemswith a few tracks, admission rules have less of an impact and tracking is only mildlyassociated with performance. Equality of opportunity is best provided for in a systemwith many tracks, especially when schools always consider entrance requirements.However, caution is warranted in interpreting these results since selection issues couldplay a role.
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