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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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7. STUDY II: Test Score or Student Progress?

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A Value-added Evaluation of Effectiveness of Chinese Urban Schools

7.1 Background

The evaluation of school effectiveness is always a challenging task in various social and educational contexts. The output of a school, often measured by its average student achievement in some critical examinations (e.g. GCSE in England, CEE and HSEE in China) has been the predominant criterion for assessing school effectiveness. Although academic achievement only reflects a narrow set of educational goals1, it is widely used in school evaluation because of its availability and understandability. From the perspective of students, parents, and other stakeholders of educational system, students’ test scores are natural indicators of school effectiveness and quality. The successful implementation of PISA even makes the international comparisons possible, which mainly depend on test scores of reading, mathematics, and science (OECD, 2010). A number of factors make HSEE test scores a strong signal for school effectiveness evaluation in China, such as emphasis on academic excellence in the Confucian tradition, the highly selective high school system, and the widespread school choice practices.

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