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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

slide3
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

slide4
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

slide5
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

slide6
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

slide7
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

slide9
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:

www.bristol.ac.uk/Depts/CMPO

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

slide16
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

slide20
Plan
  • Literature
  • Data
  • Modelling Framework
  • Results I
  • Results II
  • Conclusions

www.bristol.ac.uk/Depts/CMPO

slide21
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

www.bristol.ac.uk/Depts/CMPO

slide23

KS Scores by ethnicity

www.bristol.ac.uk/Depts/CMPO

slide24

Using ranks

www.bristol.ac.uk/Depts/CMPO

slide25

Discretising KS4:

www.bristol.ac.uk/Depts/CMPO

slide26
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

slide30

Heterogeneity – matching analysis

www.bristol.ac.uk/Depts/CMPO

slide31
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

slide33

Table 8: Regressions of value-added

www.bristol.ac.uk/Depts/CMPO

slide34
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

slide36
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

slide38
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

www.bristol.ac.uk/Depts/CMPO

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

www.bristol.ac.uk/Depts/CMPO

slide44

Table 14: School fixed effects vs OLS

www.bristol.ac.uk/Depts/CMPO

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

slide46

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

www.bristol.ac.uk/Depts/CMPO

hot off the press
Hot off the press …

Black

Caribbean

Black

African

Pakistani

Indian

Conditional

score gaps

www.bristol.ac.uk/Depts/CMPO

slide48
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

slide50
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”

www.bristol.ac.uk/Depts/CMPO

appendices
Appendices

www.bristol.ac.uk/Depts/CMPO

slide52

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

www.bristol.ac.uk/Depts/CMPO

slide54

Table 13: Test score vs Teacher assessment

www.bristol.ac.uk/Depts/CMPO

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.

www.bristol.ac.uk/Depts/CMPO

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