Stratified Society and Segmented Schools: The Effect on Children’s Learning

Abhijit Visaria, University of Pennsylvania
Minseop Kim, University of Pennsylvania

There is growing concern that the gains made in India in the last two decades in improving access to elementary education, through wider geographical spread of primary schools and higher enrollments, are not translating into better learning achievements for a majority of children. In this paper, we use data from the nationally representative India Human Development Survey 2004-2005, to study the association between learning at ages 8-11, and socioeconomic factors and school characteristics. We examine whether there is evidence supporting the perceived advantages of enrollment in private or English-medium schools or of Mid-day meals. We use continuation ratio models to test if differences exist between the effect of our predictor variables at different ordered levels of reading and math learning. In our preliminary results, we find that school characteristics have a diverse and unexpected effect at different levels of reading achievement, whereas socioeconomic status has a persistent effect across levels.

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Presented in Poster Session 1