Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Which are the "best" schools in Ireland? Analysing feeder school performance using student destination data

Borooah, Vani and Dineen, Donal and Lynch, Nicola (2009): Which are the "best" schools in Ireland? Analysing feeder school performance using student destination data. Published in: Irish Educational Studies , Vol. 29, No. 2 (2010): pp. 107-130.

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Abstract

This paper represents an investigation of the broad factors which underpin the success of feeder schools in terms of the proportion of their “sits” who proceed to third-level education and, also, in terms of the “quality” of their educational destinations. It distinguishes between three school types: public (non-fee paying, English language) private (fee paying, English language), and Gaelscoil (non-fee paying, Irish language). Both private schools and the Gaelscoileanna reported much better results than public schools. From this, the paper disentangles the nature of this advantage by investigating the extent to which private school and Gaelscoil advantage over public schools was predicated on better circumstances and/or on better responses to circumstances. Our results show that private schools and the Gaelscoileanna had a response advantage over public schools: if private schools and the Gaelscoileanna were constrained to responding to their circumstances in the manner in which public schools responded to theirs, the performance of private schools and the Gaelscoileanna would suffer. By constraining the coefficient responses of all three types of schools to be that of public schools, we arrive at a revised list of the "best performing" twenty five feeder schools in Ireland. This is different from, but not dissimilar to, a ranking of the best performing twenty five schools based on their raw performance.

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