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Bilingual education and school choice: a case study of public secondary schools in the Spanish region of Madrid

Mauro Mediavilla (), María-Jesús Mancebón (), José-María Gómez-Sancho () and Luis Pires Jiménez ()
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Mauro Mediavilla: University of Valencia & Institut d’Economia de Barcelona (IEB)
María-Jesús Mancebón: University of Zaragoza
José-María Gómez-Sancho: University of Zaragoza
Luis Pires Jiménez: University Rey Juan Carlos

No 2019/01, Working Papers from Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB)

Abstract: In the academic year of 2004-2005 the Spanish region of Madrid began to implement a bilingual educational programme in public schools. Currently, 45% of the public educational system (primary and secondary) participates in the bilingual programme of the Community of Madrid (hereinafter MBP). One of the objectives sought by this programme, but not the only one, is to make the study of a foreign language accessible to students from economically less favoured families (who have greater difficulty in meeting the cost of private language tutoring). Consequently, our study aims to analyse whether, as proposed, students from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds effectively participate in the MBP. To comply with this objective, we estimate a model directed at identifying which factors influence the selection of a bilingual public school by families. The results obtained reveal that the MBP has led to the sorting of students by socioeconomic and cultural status, causing cream skimming within the public education sector in Madrid. This is due to the influence in the choice of a bilingual public school of factors such as the educational level and the mother’s immigrant status, the occupational level of the parents and the cultural capital of the household.

Keywords: Bilingual education; school choice; cream skimming; PISA 2015; Regional Assessment of Educational Competences; Spanish region of Madrid (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I24 I28 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 39 pages
Date: 2019
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