Are the Best and Favourite Schools Really Good Schools? A Case Study in Yogyakarta

Conference: The European Conference on Education (ECE2020)
Title: Are the Best and Favourite Schools Really Good Schools? A Case Study in Yogyakarta
Stream: Learning Experiences, Student Learning & Learner Diversity
Presentation Type: Live-Stream Presentation
Authors:
Florischa Ayu Tresnatri, The SMERU Research Institute, Indonesia
Goldy Fariz Dharmawan, The SMERU Research Institute, Indonesia
Daniel Suryadarma, The SMERU Research Institute, Indonesia
Emilie Berkhout, Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development (AIGHD), Netherlands
Menno Pradhan, Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development (AIGHD), Netherlands
Amanda Beatty, Mathematica Policy Research, United States

Abstract:

Parents perceive the best schools as those having high performing students coming mostly from economically advantageous families. In return, parents aspire their children to be able to enrol in such favourite schools. This paper takes the case of Yogyakarta City, Indonesia, where typically, junior secondary schools that admit students with high average Primary School National Exit Examination (UASDA) scores are perceived as the best and favourite schools. This paper utilises a set of student background characteristics from a representative sample of 46 junior secondary schools in Yogyakarta to estimate the schools’ value-added. The estimation model also controls for average UASDA scores, in addition to the prior achievement UASDA scores, to address the issue of downward bias due to measurement errors in UASDA scores. The school’s fixed effects represent the value-added—in terms of standard deviation—towards student’s learning outcome. This paper reveals that sorting schools based on exam scores and value-added terms results in different rankings of schools. The best and favourite schools do not necessarily add much value-added to the students’ academic achievements. Our analysis suggests that private schools, that are traditionally perceived as low-quality schools due to low UASDA scores, outperform the favourite schools in terms of value-added, especially in nurturing the low performing and poor students. Thus, the favourite schools’ achievements are predicated upon having advantaged students rather than due to the schools’ productivity. This paper further estimates that if parents enrol their children in the best value-added schools, this reallocation of students would improve academic achievement significantly.