Grading Across Schools

Valentino Dardanoni 1 , 1 , Salvatore Modica 2 , 2  and Aline Pennsi 3 , 3
  • 1 Università di Palermo,
  • 2 Università di Palermo,
  • 3 Ministero dello Sviluppo Economico, Italy,


This paper reports some facts about grading standards across a varied sample of 16 countries participating in the 2003 OCSE-PISA Survey. Our main finding is that in all countries except Ireland and the USA there is conspicuous heterogeneity in standards across schools (Table 3, Figures 1 & 2). In most of the countries where heterogeneity is present a grading-on-a-curve practice emerges, with grading standards increasing with average competence of the school's students (Table 4, Figures 3 & 4). Where this phenomenon is more pronounced, it may be related to existence of a tracking (as opposed to comprehensive) school system (Table 5, Figure 5).

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The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy (BEJEAP) is an international forum for scholarship that employs microeconomics to analyze issues in business, consumer behavior and public policy. Topics include the interaction of firms, the functioning of markets, the effects of domestic and international policy and the design of organizations and institutions.