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Public schools of excellence: Opportunity for meritocracy or cream skimming of the elite?

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Abstract:

In May of 2010, the new educational authorities in Chile decided to create 50 new public high schools. Those schools have been called as “high school of excellence”, to differentiate them from the less selective and not academically oriented ones. The debate is quite compelling because while the educational authorities have suggested that academically oriented high schools are a significant opportunity to low income students, those who oppose to this initiative suggest that those schools will act as a screaming mechanism, moving out the best resources, including students and teachers, from the municipal school and producing better results just as a “compositional effect”. Using achievement data from national examinations, this study compared the educational outcomes of 10th graders that entered one of the 24 historial highly selective and academically oriented public high schools with the results of those who did not enter to those schools. The study shows that students that entered highly selective schools obtained up to 0.6 standard deviations in standardized tests. However, the difference became insignificant once key observable variables, such average students´ ability (“peer effect”), are introduced. These results are consistent with the international evidence on this matter that suggests that student selection explains the better results of academically oriented high schools and not their capability to add value to educational process.
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Association:
Name: 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society
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http://www.cies.us


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p493889_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Valenzuela, Juan. "Public schools of excellence: Opportunity for meritocracy or cream skimming of the elite?" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, May 01, 2011 <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p493889_index.html>

APA Citation:

Valenzuela, J. P. , 2011-05-01 "Public schools of excellence: Opportunity for meritocracy or cream skimming of the elite?" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p493889_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: In May of 2010, the new educational authorities in Chile decided to create 50 new public high schools. Those schools have been called as “high school of excellence”, to differentiate them from the less selective and not academically oriented ones. The debate is quite compelling because while the educational authorities have suggested that academically oriented high schools are a significant opportunity to low income students, those who oppose to this initiative suggest that those schools will act as a screaming mechanism, moving out the best resources, including students and teachers, from the municipal school and producing better results just as a “compositional effect”. Using achievement data from national examinations, this study compared the educational outcomes of 10th graders that entered one of the 24 historial highly selective and academically oriented public high schools with the results of those who did not enter to those schools. The study shows that students that entered highly selective schools obtained up to 0.6 standard deviations in standardized tests. However, the difference became insignificant once key observable variables, such average students´ ability (“peer effect”), are introduced. These results are consistent with the international evidence on this matter that suggests that student selection explains the better results of academically oriented high schools and not their capability to add value to educational process.


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