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ERIC Number: EJ925376
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 38
ISSN: ISSN-1361-3324
Equity, Ethnicity and the Hidden Dangers of "Contextual" Measures of School Performance
Bradbury, Alice
Race, Ethnicity and Education, v14 n3 p277-291 2011
"Contextual value added" (CVA) scores have been used as a means of monitoring school performance in England since 2007. This article explains how these scores are calculated using biographical pupil data (including ethnicity, gender and Free School Meal status) in order to judge the impact of a school on pupils' attainment. This article argues that the use of ethnicity as a variable in setting expected levels of progress between two points of testing legitimises and reinforces differences in attainment by ethnicity, and that the growing importance of CVA in schools threatens to engender practices that systematically disadvantage pupils from certain ethnicities. This article uses data from government advice on CVA, calculations of CVA and local authorities' education websites to examine how the government's use of CVA as a monitoring mechanism has the potential to institutionalise low expectations of some minority ethnic pupils in schools. The discourses used in the presentation of CVA as a "fairer" measure are also discussed, particularly in relation to the legitimising effect of a system which regards ethnicity and other biographical features as inevitable factors in individual pupils' levels of attainment. When compared to professed aims to reduce gaps in attainment by ethnicity, CVA reveals an incoherence at the heart of government policy on minority ethnic attainment. (Contains 2 tables and 3 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)