The effectiveness of school type on students' academic achievement: Focusing on private high school of South Korea

Open Access
Author:
Kim, Keun Jin
Graduate Program:
Educational Leadership
Degree:
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Dissertation
Date of Defense:
September 12, 2012
Committee Members:
  • Preston Green, Dissertation Advisor
  • Preston Green, Committee Chair
  • Roger C Shouse, Committee Member
  • Erica Frankenberg, Committee Member
  • Edgar Paul Yoder, Committee Member
  • Gerald K Letendre, Committee Member
Keywords:
  • school effect
  • private school
  • foreign language high school
  • OLS regression
  • propensity score matching
Abstract:
This study estimates the private school effect on academic achievement in the Korean high school system. School types include private foreign language high schools, general private high schools and public high schools in this study. This study intends to show not only the difference between private and public high schools but also the difference between different types of private high schools (private foreign language high school and general private high school) in terms of the effect of school type on academic achievement. The research questions are as follows: (a) Does a difference exist between school types in academic achievement and student/school backgrounds?; and (b) Is there a difference of academic achievement between school types after controlling for student/school backgrounds? Academic achievement is measured by the College Scholastic Aptitude Test (CSAT) scores of Korean, English and math in 2008. The data from the 2004-2007 Korean Education and Employment Panel (KEEP) are used to analyze the effect of different school types on academic achievement. The estimation of school effects is performed by ordinary least squares (OLS) regression and propensity score matching (PSM). The result of analyses shows that there is a difference among school types in academic achievement and student/school backgrounds. Private foreign language high school students have significantly higher scores than general private high school and public high school students in CSAT scores of Korean, English and math before controlling for prior achievement of middle school record. However, after controlling for prior achievement, the achievement gap between private foreign language high school and general high school (general private high school and public high school) students significantly decreased in Korean and English CSAT scores. This means the large part of private foreign language high school students’ higher achievement came from the effect of prior achievement. However, even after controlling for prior achievement, private foreign language high school students achieved higher math scores than general high school students. General private high school students have significantly higher scores than public high school students in CSAT scores in Korean even after controlling for student/school backgrounds and prior achievement. However, no significant difference exists between general private high school and public high school students in English and math. In this regard, private school effect on academic achievement exists in certain subjects in the Korean high school system.