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Does School Improve Equity? Some Key Findings from Portuguese Data

Chagas Lopes, Margarida and Medeiros, João and PINTO, AQUILES (2005): Does School Improve Equity? Some Key Findings from Portuguese Data.

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Abstract

Does School Improve Equity? ABSTRACT Most school inequality research usually emphasize the role played by pupils' family social, cultural and economic condition, their parents' educational achievement, previous own school story and gender, among other factors. Despite also considering these same determinants, our main purpose in this paper had to do with assessing the specific role played both directly and indirectly by the "school effect" upon pupils' scholar trajectories; and thereby trying to investigate how far does school alleviate or reinforce the other factors inequality outcomes. Therefore, we began by identifying the statistically meaningful variables on the basis of contingency analysis, then went on to investigate the joint influence exerted by those variables upon two different success/failure school outcomes. Finally, we applied discriminant with control analysis in order to assess the magnitude of "school effect" throughout its diverse intervention forms along school course. We concluded that Portuguese secondary school actually amplifies both the vicious and the virtuous cycles generated by the other inequality variables, depending mostly on school characteristics themselves and possibly with their interaction with surrounding area characteristics (author abstract)

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