I am attending the ISA RC28 Spring Meeting in Trento, Italy.
First Session -- Educational Policies
Outcome-based and competition-based policies of school evaluation, comparing 2 towns in Hungary.
I really enjoyed the idea that we can compare reform policy reform at the town level in two Hungarian towns, just because it's interesting to hear how ed. policies are organized in Hungary. However, the general conclusion was that structural changes at the town level hasn't had any effect on outcomes of performance or inequality, because it hasn't been linked to teachers/pedagogy.
Financial Aid and Academic Performance (Merit Scholarship in Trento)
A new merit-based scholarship to cover indirect costs of university education in Trento.
Looking at if scholarship has a causal impact on academic achievement -- because students need to get minimum score to be eligible and keep scholarship -- use fuzzy regression discontinuity design.
Essentially their results are not significant, they show no results on drop-out rate, average marks or credits taken -- but right now their sample size is small.
They say maybe this is because their students are already very good, who already have intrinsic motivation.
Higher Secondary Reform in Germany
Policy change in Germany at higher secondary level -- do more school hours per week lead to cognitive gains or overload? Reform increased the number of hours students attend. Interesting to learn about model in Germany --prior to unification, East Germany went to 9 years and West Germany went 8 years. After reunification, they did a political solution to standardize horus not years (265 hrs/9 years = 29.4 hrs a week), and 265/8 =33.1 hrs).
2000 -- lead to major reforms -- protests said that moving to G8 system would be "stressful," but other research argues that due to: acceleration, summer learning loss, the G8 system would lead to competency gains.
Interesting difference in difference model -- looking at how reform affected PISA performance by exploiting differences in terms of when G8 was implemented in different states. Finds positive effect on competencies (PISA).