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Grade inflation in Sweden: Differences between public and independent schools

Norström, Erik LU (2016) NEKH02 20161
Department of Economics
Abstract
In a setting where both schools and students have incentives to demand higher grades than may be warranted, there is a risk of grade inflation. Shedding light on the observed grade inflation in Swedish schools, this study investigates possible grading differences between independent and public compulsory schools by comparing their grades to national test scores. Theory and previous studies suggest that factors such as a school’s socioeconomic composition influence grading. This study therefore controls for school characteristics when comparing independent and public schools. The results from cross-school regressions, using data on English, Mathematics and Swedish from 2015, indicate that there is no statistically significant difference... (More)
In a setting where both schools and students have incentives to demand higher grades than may be warranted, there is a risk of grade inflation. Shedding light on the observed grade inflation in Swedish schools, this study investigates possible grading differences between independent and public compulsory schools by comparing their grades to national test scores. Theory and previous studies suggest that factors such as a school’s socioeconomic composition influence grading. This study therefore controls for school characteristics when comparing independent and public schools. The results from cross-school regressions, using data on English, Mathematics and Swedish from 2015, indicate that there is no statistically significant difference between the two education providers for any of the three subjects. The results are robust to various specifications, but the model explains little of the variation across schools. An insight is therefore that the reason deviations vary is possibly school-specific policies or individual teachers’ grading practices. These factors are probably determined independently of education provider and school characteristics. (Less)
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author
Norström, Erik LU
supervisor
organization
course
NEKH02 20161
year
type
M2 - Bachelor Degree
subject
keywords
compulsory school, grade inflation, independent schools, public schools
language
English
id
8878662
date added to LUP
2016-06-22 12:29:33
date last changed
2016-06-22 12:29:33
@misc{8878662,
  abstract     = {In a setting where both schools and students have incentives to demand higher grades than may be warranted, there is a risk of grade inflation. Shedding light on the observed grade inflation in Swedish schools, this study investigates possible grading differences between independent and public compulsory schools by comparing their grades to national test scores. Theory and previous studies suggest that factors such as a school’s socioeconomic composition influence grading. This study therefore controls for school characteristics when comparing independent and public schools. The results from cross-school regressions, using data on English, Mathematics and Swedish from 2015, indicate that there is no statistically significant difference between the two education providers for any of the three subjects. The results are robust to various specifications, but the model explains little of the variation across schools. An insight is therefore that the reason deviations vary is possibly school-specific policies or individual teachers’ grading practices. These factors are probably determined independently of education provider and school characteristics.},
  author       = {Norström, Erik},
  keyword      = {compulsory school,grade inflation,independent schools,public schools},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Grade inflation in Sweden: Differences between public and independent schools},
  year         = {2016},
}