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Education PolicyEvidence of Equity and Effectiveness$
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Stephen Gorard

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781447342144

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447342144.001.0001

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Differential school effects

Differential school effects

(p.81) Six Differential school effects
Education Policy

Stephen Gorard

Policy Press

This chapter explains why no type of school within the national school system has been found to be more effective than any other with equivalent students. It discusses the promising value-added (VA) approach, which judges schools by the progress that their pupils make during attendance at the school — not their absolute levels of attainment. Data on all pupils in the relevant school population is used to predict as accurately as possible how well each pupil will score in a subsequent test of attainment. Any difference between the predicted and observed test result is then used as a residual. The averaged residuals for each school are termed the school's ‘effect’, and are intended to represent the average amount by which pupils in that school progress more or less when compared to equivalent pupils in all other schools. This judgement about progress is intended to be independent of the raw-score figures, making it fairer than assessment by raw scores. Since this ‘school effect’ is deemed a characteristic of the school, not its specific cohort of pupils, it should be reasonably consistent over time.

Keywords:   value-added approach, progress, attainment, school effect, residuals, raw scores

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