The Heterogeneous Effect of Selection in Secondary Schools: Understanding the Changing Role of Ability

47 Pages Posted: 11 Aug 2004

See all articles by Fernando Galindo-Rueda

Fernando Galindo-Rueda

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Centre for Economic Performance (CEP); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Anna F. Vignoles

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

Date Written: August 2004

Abstract

Previous work by the authors suggested that during the 1970s and 1980s, a person's early cognitive ability became a less important determinant of his or her eventual educational achievement. Furthermore, over the same time period, family background started to have a greater impact on a person's achievement. Given that this coincided with the gradual demise of the British selective grammar school system, it would seem that the role of selection (ability tracking) in the school system merits further investigation. This paper explores the inter-relationship between school selection, ability and educational achievement. Our regression and matching results indicate that the most able pupils in the selective school system did do better than those of similar ability in the mixed ability school system. We do not find evidence of significant negative effects of tracking for low/middle ability students.

Keywords: education reforms, selection, tracking, ability

JEL Classification: I2

Suggested Citation

Galindo-Rueda, Fernando and Vignoles, Anna F., The Heterogeneous Effect of Selection in Secondary Schools: Understanding the Changing Role of Ability (August 2004). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=575089

Fernando Galindo-Rueda (Contact Author)

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Anna F. Vignoles

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Centre for Economic Performance (CEP)
Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

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