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Academic Achievement and Tracking - A Theory Based on Grading Standards

Tim Ehlers and Robert Schwager

No 7866, CESifo Working Paper Series from CESifo

Abstract: We present a theory explaining the impact of ability tracking on academic performance based on grading policies. Our model distinguishes between initial ability, which is mainly determined by parental background, and eagerness to extend knowledge. We show that achievements of low ability students may be higher in a comprehensive school system, even if there are neither synergy effects nor interdependent preferences among classmates. This arises because the comprehensive school sets a compromise standard which exceeds the standard from the low ability track. Moreover, if students with lower initial ability have higher eagerness to learn, merging classes will increase average performance.

Keywords: ability tracking; comprehensive school; education; equality of opportunity; peer group effects (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D63 I21 I28 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-edu and nep-ure
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