Transition from Primary to Secondary School and Ethnic Inequalities in Comparative Perspective
Tracking is widely present in many European schooling systems – Austria, Germany, Switzerland are the classical examples of dual system, but other countries like Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and even France and Italy practice programme placement to some extent.
This paper contributes to the literature on tracking in two ways:
- While it is known that students of migratory background are more likely to be placed in vocational programmes, less is known about the systematic bias in such decisions. We impute prior achievement scores in reading or mathematics and use it as a main control in explaining potential bias.
- We combine educational data for primary and secondary schools from various educational surveys and construct three synthetic birth cohorts of students, observed initially in primary (PIRLS or TIMSS survey) and later in secondary school (PISA survey).
Our sample includes 14 countries and 370 000 students, of whom around 40% are in vocational education. Our preliminary results suggest no bias towards immigrant students in countries with high share of immigrant students and longer immigration history. The contrary seem to be true for cases with relatively small immigrant population who became receiving countries in recent years.