Assessment reform, immigrant integration and school segregation

Christopher Smith, Lund University
Jonas Helgertz, Lund University
Kirk A. Scott, Lund University

Children of immigrants in Sweden generally report poorer academic outcomes, while attending schools with more academically challenged students, than those of children born to native Swedes. Prior to 1998, students were graded based on a normative distribution by each class. In 1998, a grade reformation was implemented and grades were given based on teacher’s evaluation of student’s performance, irrespective of class standing. As a result, grade inflation increased among the well to do non-immigrant population. Preliminary results point towards a differential effect of the reform based on background, with the grade point average of Swedes along with a handful of immigrant groups benefited from the reform, while children from other immigrant groups, notably with African and Middle Eastern backgrounds, experienced no benefit or even a negative effect as a result of the reform. Future research for this project involves using multilevel models to investigate the potential mediating effect school segregation may have on this relationship.

  See paper

Presented in Session 57: Immigration and educational differentiation