1/16/19 EPSC Lab Meeting: "Impact of Attending an Elite High School with Different School Assignment Policies: Ability Tracking versus Random Assignment"
Visiting Scholar Liping Ma will discuss her study, "Impact of Attending an Elite High School with Different School Assignment Policies: Ability Tracking versus Random Assignment," at the Wednesday, January 16, meeting of the Education Policy and Social Context Research Lab.
EPSC Lab Meeting
Wednesday, January 16, 2019
12:00 - 1:00 pm
In China and many other countries, students are tracked into different types of high school based on their prior academic achievement, where better-performing students are admitted into ‘elite schools’ that are typically also equipped with better teachers and school resources whereas less academically prepared students would attend less-resourced ‘non-elite’ schools. Yet, it is unclear whether ability tracking is the optimal assignment mechanism to maximize the targeted outcomes of students. In this study, we examine the impacts of attending an elite high school on student academic outcomes under two different school assignment policies. Specifically, we exploit a policy experiment in a city in China in 2014, which changed the high school choice from ability tracking – where the top 40% students are able to go to the elite school and the rest go to the other school-- to a mixture of ability tracking and random assignment -- where only the first top 10-20% students are guaranteed entrance to the elite high school whereas the rest are randomly assignment between the two schools. The presentation will start with a general introduction of the K-12 and school tracking system in China, followed by an explanation of the research design, data, and some preliminary findings.