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The Dynamics of School Attainment of England ’ s Ethnic Minorities. Deborah Wilson, Simon Burgess, Adam Briggs February 2006. Introduction. Accumulation of human capital is a key to economic success for individuals and communities.

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The dynamics of school attainment of england s ethnic minorities

The Dynamics of School Attainment of England’s Ethnic Minorities

Deborah Wilson, Simon Burgess, Adam Briggs

February 2006


Introduction

Introduction

  • Accumulation of human capital is a key to economic success for individuals and communities.

  • Relative achievement of minority ethnic learners is an on-going cause for concern among policy-makers in the UK.

  • A lot of evidence for US, rather less for UK.

www.bristol.ac.uk/Depts/CMPO


The dynamics of school attainment of england s ethnic minorities

  • In this paper:

    • We exploit a universe dataset of state school students in England

    • We document the evolution of attainment for different ethnic groups through school

    • We explore some factors lying behind relative achievement

    • Results:

www.bristol.ac.uk/Depts/CMPO


The dynamics of school attainment of england s ethnic minorities

  • We confirm some well-known facts for the high stakes exams taken at age 16:

    • pupils from some ethnic groups achieve considerably lower scores than white pupils on average – pupils with Black Caribbean heritage, other Black heritage or Pakistani ethnicity.

    • Students with Indian or Chinese ethnicity score much higher than their white peers

www.bristol.ac.uk/Depts/CMPO


The dynamics of school attainment of england s ethnic minorities

  • We provide some striking new findings:

    • All ethnic minority groups make greater progress on average than white students between ages 11 and 16.

    • Much of this improvement is in the high-stakes exams at the end of compulsory schooling.

    • For most ethnic groups, this gain relative to white students is pervasive, happening in almost all schools.

www.bristol.ac.uk/Depts/CMPO


The dynamics of school attainment of england s ethnic minorities

  • Our analysis addresses some of the usual factors invoked to explain attainment gaps, although these are typically about levels rather than growth in attainment

  • We consider the roles of poverty, language, school quality, and teacher influence

  • We analyse attainment gaps at the lower end of the distribution.

www.bristol.ac.uk/Depts/CMPO


The dynamics of school attainment of england s ethnic minorities

Plan

  • Literature

  • Data

  • Modelling Framework

  • Results I

  • Results II

  • Conclusions

www.bristol.ac.uk/Depts/CMPO


English school system

English School System

University, job, …

Primary

Secondary

Age

5

7

11

14

16

18

A levels

Tests

KS1

KS2

KS3

KS4 =

GCSEs

End of compulsory

schooling

This paper

www.bristol.ac.uk/Depts/CMPO


The dynamics of school attainment of england s ethnic minorities

Data

  • PLASC/NPD: administrative data from the DfES. All pupils in English state schools; approx 0.5 million in each cohort.

  • Key Stage (KS) tests:

    • Cohort 1: KS1 (age 7) in 1998; KS2 (age 11) in 2002.

    • Cohort 2: KS2 in 1997; KS3 (age 14) in 2000; KS4 = GCSE (age 16) in 2002.

  • As yet, no single cohort going all the way through

www.bristol.ac.uk/Depts/CMPO


Data ii

Data II

  • PLASC/NPD gives individual characteristics:

    • Ethnicity

    • English as an additional language (EAL)

    • Eligibility for free school meals (FSM)

    • Gender, age within year

    • Special educational needs status (SEN)

    • Home postcode

    • School attended

  • Attainment data at each Key Stage

  • All but attainment data is for 2001/02 only.

www.bristol.ac.uk/Depts/CMPO


Data iii

Data III

  • Pupil home postcode enables us to match in local area data:

    • Index of multiple deprivation (IMD)

      • Ward level; 6 components (income; employment; health; education; housing; access to services)

    • MOSAIC

      • Postcode level dataset. Categorises each postcode into one of 61 types.

www.bristol.ac.uk/Depts/CMPO


Data iv

Data IV

  • Analysis sample:

    • study the cohorts as balanced panels – proportion of students with full record is high

    • track the same group through school without worrying about changing sample composition

    • Unrepresentative of all students taking tests? No, apart from Black African heritage students

  • Sample sizes:

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The dynamics of school attainment of england s ethnic minorities

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The dynamics of school attainment of england s ethnic minorities

Table 2: Summary statistics of Key-stage scores for both cohorts

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Measuring test score gaps

Measuring test score gaps

  • Different distribution of marks at each KS. At KS4 – SD here four times bigger than at KS2. Just using marks – hard to interpret gaps.

  • We do three things:

    • We use z scores – normalise each KS# mark separately by its mean and SD (all ethnic groups together). So units are in SD’s.

    • Use ranks

    • Discretise KS4 marks as alternative to treating KS2 marks as continuous

www.bristol.ac.uk/Depts/CMPO


The dynamics of school attainment of england s ethnic minorities

Plan

  • Literature

  • Data

  • Modelling Framework

  • Results I

  • Results II

  • Conclusions

www.bristol.ac.uk/Depts/CMPO


Modelling framework

Modelling Framework

  • Adopt a human capital approach – test score depends on human capital

  • hit = ht + SjgjtXij + SlaltZil + Smbmteim

  • The final term is the myriad influences on human capital can’t measure.

  • These may be correlated with a pupil’s ethnicity. So the coefficient on an ethnic group dummy summarises the correlation of membership of that ethnic group with these variables, weighted by their impact on human capital.

www.bristol.ac.uk/Depts/CMPO


Role of schools

Role of schools

  • In most tables, we don’t focus on schools:

    • A straightforward interpretation of such variables would require the assumption that pupils are randomly allocated to schools

    • Interpretation of ethnicity is that it includes both the direct impact of that characteristic on test score, plus the indirect effect on school quality times the impact of that quality on test score.

www.bristol.ac.uk/Depts/CMPO


Estimation

Estimation

  • We estimate:

    yit = Sgpgt I(ethnic group)i + b1t.genderi + b2t.agei + b3t.FSMi + b4t.SENi + Sn b5nt.I(n’hood)i

  • We also look at a pupil’s progress over the Key Stages, referred to as value-added:

    • An individual pupil’s value added from KS2 to KS4 is the difference between her own grade and that average for those with the same KS2 score.

www.bristol.ac.uk/Depts/CMPO


The dynamics of school attainment of england s ethnic minorities

Plan

  • Literature

  • Data

  • Modelling Framework

  • Results I

  • Results II

  • Conclusions

www.bristol.ac.uk/Depts/CMPO


The dynamics of school attainment of england s ethnic minorities

  • Results I

    • Raw attainment gaps

    • Conditional attainment gaps

    • Value Added gaps

    • Attainment Gaps at Lower Quantiles

    • Quantifying the gap

  • Results II

    • Non-school factors

    • Systemic schooling factors

    • Between-school factors

    • Within-school factors

www.bristol.ac.uk/Depts/CMPO


Graphical approach

Graphical approach:

2000

1998

1997

2002

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The dynamics of school attainment of england s ethnic minorities

KS Scores by ethnicity

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The dynamics of school attainment of england s ethnic minorities

Using ranks

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The dynamics of school attainment of england s ethnic minorities

Discretising KS4:

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The dynamics of school attainment of england s ethnic minorities

  • Results I

    • Raw attainment gaps

    • Conditional attainment gaps

    • Value Added gaps

    • Attainment Gaps at Lower Quantiles

    • Quantifying the gap

  • Results II

    • Non-school factors

    • Systemic schooling factors

    • Between-school factors

    • Within-school factors

www.bristol.ac.uk/Depts/CMPO


The dynamics of school attainment of england s ethnic minorities

Table 5: Regressions of standardised Key-stage 4 scores for cohort 2

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The dynamics of school attainment of england s ethnic minorities

Table 6: Regressions of standardised key-stage scores

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The dynamics of school attainment of england s ethnic minorities

Figure 5: ‘Group’-White conditional gaps

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The dynamics of school attainment of england s ethnic minorities

Heterogeneity – matching analysis

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The dynamics of school attainment of england s ethnic minorities

  • Results I

    • Raw attainment gaps

    • Conditional attainment gaps

    • Value Added gaps

    • Attainment Gaps at Lower Quantiles

    • Quantifying the gap

  • Results II

    • Non-school factors

    • Systemic schooling factors

    • Between-school factors

    • Within-school factors

www.bristol.ac.uk/Depts/CMPO


The dynamics of school attainment of england s ethnic minorities

Table 7: Regressions of Key-stage 2 to 4 Value added for cohort 2

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The dynamics of school attainment of england s ethnic minorities

Table 8: Regressions of value-added

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The dynamics of school attainment of england s ethnic minorities

  • Results I

    • Raw attainment gaps

    • Conditional attainment gaps

    • Value Added gaps

    • Attainment Gaps at Lower Quantiles

    • Quantifying the gap

  • Results II

    • Non-school factors

    • Systemic schooling factors

    • Between-school factors

    • Within-school factors

www.bristol.ac.uk/Depts/CMPO


The dynamics of school attainment of england s ethnic minorities

Z-scores: male, FSM, bottom 20% KS2 and IMD

www.bristol.ac.uk/Depts/CMPO


The dynamics of school attainment of england s ethnic minorities

  • Results I

    • Raw attainment gaps

    • Conditional attainment gaps

    • Value Added gaps

    • Attainment Gaps at Lower Quantiles

    • Quantifying the gap

  • Results II

    • Non-school factors

    • Systemic schooling factors

    • Between-school factors

    • Within-school factors

www.bristol.ac.uk/Depts/CMPO


The dynamics of school attainment of england s ethnic minorities

Table 10: Predicted Vs actual GCSE attainment by ethnicity

www.bristol.ac.uk/Depts/CMPO


The dynamics of school attainment of england s ethnic minorities

  • Results I

    • Raw attainment gaps

    • Conditional attainment gaps

    • Value Added gaps

    • Attainment Gaps at Lower Quantiles

    • Quantifying the gap

  • Results II

    • Non-school factors

    • Systemic schooling factors

    • Between-school factors

    • Within-school factors

www.bristol.ac.uk/Depts/CMPO


Statistical factors

Statistical factors

  • Regression to the mean

    • Split pupils from each ethnic group into gender*FSM*KS2 cells

    • Designate equivalent white pupils in each sub-cell; track these over subsequent KS’s.

    • Figure 8

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The dynamics of school attainment of england s ethnic minorities

Figure 8: Performance of equivalent ‘Group’-White pupils

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Non school factors

Non-school factors

  • Individual characteristics affect progress?

  • Language

    • PLASC records whether English is a pupil’s “mother tongue”, the language spoken at home.

    • Only two groups with some variation: Black Africans and Indian ethnicity students

    • Accounts for about a third of the gain for these two groups (Table 12)

    • Separate analysis of maths, english and science

www.bristol.ac.uk/Depts/CMPO


Systemic schooling factors

Systemic Schooling Factors

  • Differences in assessment?

    • No: consistent assessment across KS2 – KS4.

  • Teacher expectations or bias?

    • Yes: greater divergence between mark and teacher assessment for some groups (Table 13)

  • Role of Special Educational Needs (SEN) indicator?

    • Not conditioning on SEN, same results on progress.

www.bristol.ac.uk/Depts/CMPO


Between school factors

Between-school factors

  • School quality

    • the quality of the teachers, the ethos and leadership of the school, and peer groups

    • Non-random allocation of pupils to schools

    • Comparing fixed effects and OLS means comparing average variation within a school, to variation both within and across schools.

    • Look at London only

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The dynamics of school attainment of england s ethnic minorities

Table 14: School fixed effects vs OLS

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Within school factors

Within-school factors

  • Differences in school practices?

    • For each school and for each ethnic group, we ask whether that group has higher mean value added than white students.

    • Table 15 presents the percentage of schools for which that group improves relative to whites.

www.bristol.ac.uk/Depts/CMPO


The dynamics of school attainment of england s ethnic minorities

Table 15: Proportion of schools/LEAs where ethnic group progress relative to White pupils is positive

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Hot off the press

Hot off the press …

Black

Caribbean

Black

African

Pakistani

Indian

Conditional

score gaps

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The dynamics of school attainment of england s ethnic minorities

Plan

  • Literature

  • Data

  • Modelling Framework

  • Results I

  • Results II

  • Conclusions

www.bristol.ac.uk/Depts/CMPO


Conclusions

Conclusions

  • Minority ethnic groups make better average progress through secondary school than do white students.

  • These gains are substantial for some groups, only marginal for students of Black Caribbean heritage.

  • These gains are pervasive for most of the groups.

  • The gains are particularly marked in the final exams that are crucial for further progress in education or jobs.

www.bristol.ac.uk/Depts/CMPO


The dynamics of school attainment of england s ethnic minorities

  • Findings suggest systemic factors: the importance of aspirations and values?

    • Modood (2005): “Asian trajectory … social mobility by education, self-employment and progression into the professions”

    • Winder (2004): “familiar immigrant paradigm”: “the children of immigrants, lacking financial capital of their own, devote themselves to the acquisition of knowledge”

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Appendices

Appendices

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The dynamics of school attainment of england s ethnic minorities

Table 11: Regressions of standardised values of cohort 2 key-stage 4 score

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The dynamics of school attainment of england s ethnic minorities

Table 12: Regressions of key-stage 2 to 4 value added for cohort 2

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The dynamics of school attainment of england s ethnic minorities

Table 13: Test score vs Teacher assessment

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The dynamics of school attainment of england s ethnic minorities

KS scores by ethnicity and FSM status: FSM Pupils

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The dynamics of school attainment of england s ethnic minorities

KS scores by ethnicity and FSM status: non-FSM Pupils

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The dynamics of school attainment of england s ethnic minorities

KS scores by ethnicity and gender: Female Pupils

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The dynamics of school attainment of england s ethnic minorities

KS scores by ethnicity and gender: Male Pupils

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Understanding ethnicity

Understanding ethnicity

  • Ethnicity here refers to membership of a group defined by descent; and ethnic ‘difference’ has 5 dimensions (Modood 2005):

    • Cultural distinctiveness

    • Disproportionality

    • Strategy

    • Creativity

    • Identity

  • These 5 dimensions relate to educational attainment.

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