SPATIAL DIFFERENCES IN ACCESS TO SCHOOL RESOURCES, EDUCATIONAL TRAJECTORIES, AND ACADEMIC RESULTS AFTER 9TH AND 11TH GRADES: MULTILEVEL ANALYSIS ON RUSSIAN DATA
Over the past 60 years, the topic of social inequality has been one of the key to educational research. Since the 90's years of the last century, thanks to the advent of international monitoring, the main focus is on comparisons of different countries in terms of educational opportunities, as well as academic and social segregation in schools. At the same time, it is known that even within countries, especially those with a great geographical extent, differences in access to educational resources and in learning outcomes can be very large.
Our work complements the existing discussion on spatial inequality in education. In this paper, we analyze the hierarchical structure of the educational system in countries with a moderate level of centralization, when access to resources can vary at three levels: between schools in a municipality, between municipalities in regions and between regions. We analyze the variation of school ICT-resources, teachers’ characteristics, and students’ outcomes in Russian language, mathematics and computer science on between- and within-regional levels. For these aims, we operate a unique dataset of nearly 40 000 Russian schools.
Our results show the existing gap between Russian schools, municipalities, and regions in access to educational resources and educational results. The uneven distribution of resources between territories, as a result of unbalanced decentralized policy, creates a situation of “double penalty” or “double bonus” for students.