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Keeping a Sense of Proportion: The ‘Politician’s Error’ in Analysing School Outcomes

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Abstract:

This paper describes a recurring error in standard analyses of educational performance. This simple but important oversight leads to the misrepresentation of trends over time with potentially dangerous results for both policy and further research. Once corrected, educational performance becomes much brighter than the picture that is commonly portrayed.

Keywords: ethnicity; gender; performance; underachievement

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-8527.00116

Affiliations: School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University

Publication date: September 1, 1999

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