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School Grading and Institutional Contexts

  • Autori: Dardanoni, V; Modica, S; Pennisi, A
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2011
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
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We study how the relationship between students’ cognitive ability and their school grades depend on institutional context. In a simple abstract model we show that unless competence standards are set at above-school level or variation of competence across schools is low, students’ competence valua- tion will be heterogeneous, with weaker schools inflating grades or flattening their dependence on competence, therefore reducing the information content and comparability of school grades. Using data from the OECD-PISA 2003 Survey the model is applied to a sam- ple of 4 countries, namely Australia, Germany, Italy and The Netherlands. We find that in Australia schools heterogeneity does not affect grading practices; in the other countries grades are inflated in weaker schools, uniformly in Germany and The Netherlands, to a larger extent for weaker students in Italy.