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Dynamics of achievement gap between public and private school students
, G Dhamija, I K McDonough
Published in
Abstract

The achievement gap between public and private school students is well-documented in the literature on education in India, but there has not been sufficient focus on the dynamics of this gap over time. Analysing Young Lives Survey data on student test scores from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, this article suggests that very little convergence is expected, as students make their way through middle and high school.

The academic achievement gap between students attending public and private schools in India has been widely studied in the recent development literature (see for example, Azam et al. 2016, Chudgar and Quin 2012, French and Kingdon 2010, Kingdon 1996, Muralidharan and Kremer 2008, Muralidharan and Sundararaman 2015, Singh 2014, Singh 2015). Most studies so far have found evidence of private school students outperforming public school students on standardised tests, although there is considerable variation in the magnitude of the estimated gaps with some studies documenting large gaps in achievement while others finding evidence of only modest gaps. In McDonough et al.(2021), we employ two empirical methods that are common in the literature for measuring movement through the distribution of income/wages over time (Bhattacharya and Mazumder 2011, Buchinsky and Hunt 1999), to estimate the likelihood that public and private school students will transition in a directional sense (upward, downward, etc.) through the distribution of academic achievement between five and 12 years of age.

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