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School Effectiveness in China

An Exploratory Study

Pai Peng

This book is a valuable attempt to address the issue of school effectiveness in mainland China. The author applies multi-level modeling and longitudinal student achievement and survey data to evaluate school effectiveness. In the first study, the author analyzes the effects of school resources and classroom processes on student achievement. He also investigates the size of school effects, and the differential school effects for different groups of students. The other two empirical studies focus on the value-added evaluation of academic performance in schools, including consistency, stability and robustness of value-added results. The author also discusses the policy implications of these empirical findings in the Chinese school system.
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6. STUDY I: What Works in Chinese Schools?

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School and class effects on student achievement in the High School Entrance Examination

6.1 Background

Academic achievement is often viewed as the most important student and school outcome in many education systems. From a macro perspective, it is found in recent literature of education economics that student achievement is positively related to the national economic growth in international comparative studies1. Student achievement is also the predominant criterion of school effectiveness evaluation. In the Chinese basic education system, different stakeholders attach great importance to student academic performance in two high-stake examinations: the High School Entrance Examination (HSEE) and the College Entrance Examination (CEE) (See Section 3.1). Nearly all schools are making great efforts to raise their student achievement levels in these examinations. The efforts include more time on task, teaching to the test, more homework assignment, etc. These efforts reveal the Confucian tradition of Chinese education (e.g. Diligence can make up deficiency) on one hand; on the other hand they reflect the fierce competition in these high stake examinations.

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