HYI Working Paper Series: Huang Min-Hsiung

Abstract: Recent school admission reforms in Taiwan have been designed to avoid an unhealthy focus on academic competence and on preparation for high-stakes tests. In response, concerns have been raised about whether a more holistic assessment of student performance for school admission would dampen academic competence and equality of educational opportunities. Using nationally-representative trend data from different sources and a difference-in-differences methodology, findings point to a remarkable decline in the proportion of high-achieving students in mathematics, but a similar decline is not observed in science. The impact of family socioeconomic status on student academic performance has been stable over time, before and after major school admission reforms.
Keywords: school admission reform, high-stakes test, academic achievement, equality of educational opportunity, Taiwan