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Children left behind. New evidence on the (negative) impact of grade repetition on educational careers

Dates:
  • Tue 27 Oct 2020 13.30 - 15.00
  Add to Calendar 2020-10-27 13:30 2020-10-27 15:00 Europe/Paris Children left behind. New evidence on the (negative) impact of grade repetition on educational careers

A presentation within the Inequality Working Group

The debate over the impact of grade repetition, the practice of denying students the progression in their educational career for an additional year, has been living for decades now. On the one hand, retained students might beneficiate from the extra time and eventually catch-up with the necessary competencies and knowledge to progress in their academic career. On the other, students who have experienced past grade repetition might downward adjust their educational prospects. This paper aims at contributing to this literature by supplying new evidence of the detrimental effect of grade repetition on a cohort of high school pupils in Northern Italy. The richness of the data represents an innovative development in the context of Italy, in which grade repetition remains substantially understudied. The present empirical examination relies on a vast longitudinal database of students' trajectories, and provides information on pre-retention academic performance, along with socioeconomic and migration background. The analytical approach adopted for this study combines perfect matching, propensity score matching, and adjustments on school-level to infer causal effects. The results show that retained students face much higher non-enrollment and school-transfer probabilities as compared to similar promoted students. Compared to others, retained students with tertiary-educated parents are more likely to change school (without revising their curriculum) and less likely to drop out. Taken together, these results seem to suggest that not only grade repetition appears as an inadequate recovery tool, but that it directly contributes to the overall level of educational inequalities.

Online - via Zoom DD/MM/YYYY
  Online - via Zoom

A presentation within the Inequality Working Group

The debate over the impact of grade repetition, the practice of denying students the progression in their educational career for an additional year, has been living for decades now. On the one hand, retained students might beneficiate from the extra time and eventually catch-up with the necessary competencies and knowledge to progress in their academic career. On the other, students who have experienced past grade repetition might downward adjust their educational prospects. This paper aims at contributing to this literature by supplying new evidence of the detrimental effect of grade repetition on a cohort of high school pupils in Northern Italy. The richness of the data represents an innovative development in the context of Italy, in which grade repetition remains substantially understudied. The present empirical examination relies on a vast longitudinal database of students' trajectories, and provides information on pre-retention academic performance, along with socioeconomic and migration background. The analytical approach adopted for this study combines perfect matching, propensity score matching, and adjustments on school-level to infer causal effects. The results show that retained students face much higher non-enrollment and school-transfer probabilities as compared to similar promoted students. Compared to others, retained students with tertiary-educated parents are more likely to change school (without revising their curriculum) and less likely to drop out. Taken together, these results seem to suggest that not only grade repetition appears as an inadequate recovery tool, but that it directly contributes to the overall level of educational inequalities.


Location:
Online - via Zoom

Affiliation:
Department of Political and Social Sciences

Type:
Working group

Contact:
Monika Rzemieniecka (EUI - Department of Political and Social Sciences) - Send a mail
CLIC Inequality Working Group - Send a mail

Organiser:
Prof. Fabrizio Bernardi
Prof. Juho Härkönen

Speaker:
Guido Salza (University of Trento)

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