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Efficiency and Equity Within European Education Systems and School Choice Policy: Bridging Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches

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We seek out the good institutional features of the European choice policies that can enhance both equity and efficiency at the system level. For causality analysis we construct the typology of 28 European educational systems by using fuzzy-set analysis. We combine five independent variables to indicate institutional features of school choice policy: availability of choice, tracking, school variability, empowerment of parents, and financial incentive schemes supporting choice policy. Findings show that the most important complements producing efficiency are “no-choice” with “no-tracking” and “choice” together with “tracking” and “school variability.” “No-choice” with “no-tracking” can also lead to more equity.
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... Therefore, we turn from country to school level. More specifically, we are motivated by school governance and school choice literature (e.g., Woessmann et al. 2009;Cobb and Glass 2009;Põder, Kerem, and Lauri 2013;Musset 2012;Lauri and Põder 2013;Le Grand 2007;Põder, Lauri, and Veski 2016), which argue that certain policies may bring education systems closer to efficiency without having a significant impact on equity. This literature emphasizes the importance of compositional effects on educational production functions, such as the teacher and peer effects for instance, in addition to individual-level background effects. ...
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This study is motivated by the distinctive outcome of the minority achievement gap in Estonia and Latvia, countries with similar legacies and socio-economic development. We have four sub-groups of schools involving pairs of instructing languages: Estonian and Russian in Estonia, and Latvian and Russian in Latvia. All four are above average performers according to international comparisons. Still, our data show that a remarkable achievement gap between majority and minority students exists only in Estonia. We employ the Oaxaca–Blinder twofold decomposition technique to explore the factors behind the minority achievement gap (MAG). We are able to explain almost half of the gap in Estonia by peer effects and the larger concentration of immigrants in minority schools. In Latvia, on the contrary, the average peer effect is positive in minority schools. Still, regarding the essence of the unexplained gap, our results remain inconclusive.
... The method has been useful for analysis of equity in educational success in the United Kingdom (Cooper and Glaesser, 2010;Cooper, 2005;Glaesser and Cooper, 2013) and of policies on track switching in Germany (Cooper and Glaesser, 2011). Poder et al. (2013) use fsQCA to find three causal pathways to maximize efficiency and one for equity in European education systems. Recently, Trujillo and Woulfin (2014) used the method in conjunction with qualitative work on school reform intermediaries in California. ...
... The school choice literature shows that certain policies may bring education systems closer to efficiency with or without having significant impact on equity (Woessmann 2008;Woessmann et al. 2009;Cobb and Glass 2009;Põder et al. 2013;Musset 2012;Lauri and Põder 2013). However, are school choice ideals and policies transferable across cultures? ...
... The question of school inequality is addressed differently across Europe. It has been shown [14] that, although both "no-choice" with "no-tracking" and "choice" with "tracking" and "school variability" resulted in efficient school systems, only "no-choice" with "no-tracking" led to greater equity. The right to education is based on education equity, which is highly valued and recognised internationally such as the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights: ...
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The degree of homogeneity and heterogeneity among schools affects the comprehensiveness and inclusiveness of the school system and the type and scope of classroom interaction. Since the beginning of the 1980s, interest has gradually increased in the effects of homogeneity and heterogeneity of schools on classroom interactions; this research involves various disciplines and has different goals. The present paper contributes to academic debate on the often ignored consequences of socialisation of pupils with diversity. In particular, we revise the evidence on the effect of socialisation (or lack of it) with diversity resulting from the degree of homogeneity or heterogeneity to which school children are exposed through their interactions in the classroom. We aim, in particular, to shed light on what the assumed value of classroom interactions as an argument in favour or either heterogeneous or homogeneous groups. We review work analysing school homogeneity in relation to age, gender, ethnicity and disability and the effect on classroom interactions. Most studies concur with current achievement motivation theories, which highlight the important role of context and agents of socialisation, such as classroom peers, in the development of pupils' beliefs and behaviours. Studies that find support for classroom homogeneity tend to focus narrowly on academic performance, whereas findings that support classroom heterogeneity tend to analyse higher order values such as equity and inclusiveness. The findings in the literature suggest, furthermore, that children's experiences of exclusion and diversity influence their friendship decision-making, suggesting that heterogeneous schools promote a more inclusive society.
... Proximity-based assignment is also widely used in countries such as Germany, Australia, Norway, France, and Denmark (Noreisch 2007;J. Taylor 2012;Põder, Kerem, and Lauri 2013;Humlum and Smith 2015). In proximity-based assignment, children are assigned to nearby schools; thus, the problem still exists. ...
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A serious spatial inequality of educational opportunity in school enrollment persists worldwide. The use of random mechanisms in school allocation might improve spatial equality, with lotteries applied in some choice-based systems. China uses a proximity-based assignment, yet the optimization of spatial equality of educational opportunity by introducing a lottery has received little consideration. To achieve the maximum spatial equality of educational opportunity, in this study, a random proximity-based model was developed, and the swarm optimization method was used to solve the model. A case study in the Shijingshan district of Beijing was used to illustrate the model outputs. For comparison, a proximity-based model was also developed and solved. After introducing a lottery into a proximity-based enrollment system, the spatial disparity of educational opportunity was reduced by 70 percent. The average travel distance to school increased 3.5-fold but was still much less than the actual average distance of 4.3 km. Relaxing the maximum travel distance constraint could significantly improve spatial inequality. Although total equality was significantly improved, only 51 percent of students benefited from increased opportunities, which implies that the model could be adopted in a centralized institutional context, such as China, but might be ineffective in a democratic system.
... This paper proposes a case specific insights of school-level policies and how they affect pupils' achievement and educational equity in Italy. The Italian educational system is an interesting case to study : Põder, Kerem and Lauri (2013) using cross-country estimates and calibrating scores of efficiency and equity and show that the Italian educational system is a distinct case characterised by high equity and low efficiency scores. However, this outlier position underlines the possible trade-offs between efficiency and equity. ...
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This paper identifies the relationship between pupils' Family Background, their mathematics scores, and school-level policies, using the 2012 Programme of International Student Assessment for Italy and multilevel modelling. School-level policies have played a leading role in recent school reforms in many countries, but there is no straightforward empirical evidence for how they affect pupils' outcomes and the equality of educational outcomes. Our findings show that that only some school policies intensify the Family Background Effect-(educational equity) and affect student outcomes (educational efficiency) simultaneously. We find that competitive schools are able to screen students by selecting higher socioeconomic status parents, which mainly harms equity without having much effect on efficiency. There are some policies which allow some trade-off between aforementioned objectives, mainly policies related to management schools.
... This paper proposes a case specific insights of school-level policies and how they affect pupils' achievement and educational equity in Italy. The Italian educational system is an interesting case to study : Põder, Kerem and Lauri (2013) using cross-country estimates and calibrating scores of efficiency and equity and show that the Italian educational system is a distinct case characterised by high equity and low efficiency scores. However, this outlier position underlines the possible trade-offs between efficiency and equity. ...
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Mokslo studijoje analizuojami visos dienos mokyklos įgyvendinimo modeliai bei visos dienos mokyklos veiklos efektyvumo tyrimai skirtingose Europos šalyse; esamos visos dienos mokyklos praktikos ir jų veiklos organizavimo ir finansavimo būdai Lietuvoje; Lietuvos švietimo, sveikatos, socialinių ir kultūros paslaugų teisinis reglamentavimas, poreikis ir prieinamumas vaikams. Mokslo studijoje pristatomi Lietuvoje atlikto švietimo, sveikatos, socialinių ir kultūros paslaugų poreikio ir prieinamumo vaikams ir jų tėvams (globėjams, rūpintojams) tyrimo rezultatai. Leidinys rekomenduojamas pedagoginei bendruomenei, švietimo politikos formuotojams, mokslininkams ir visiems besidomintiems mokyklos kaita.
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