ENTRANCE EXAMINATIONS FOR UNIVERSITY OF THE BASQUE COUNTRY
In the Educational System in the Basque Country, all pupils have to sit an external evaluation more than once during their secondary school career. The Diagnostic Evaluation evaluates all pupils and schools in the second year at Compulsory Secondary Education (14 years). Every year they have to respond to a series of tests in mathematics, Spanish language and Basque language (besides another test which varies every few years). By means of this evaluation, each school knows their situation based on a number of absolute standards with respect to their situation previously and to other schools. With the latter, apart from making these comparisons, the socioeconomic and cultural index (ISEC) of the schools is taken into account (obtained from the situation of the families).
Also, on finishing Secondary Education (18 years), those students who wish to enter university have to pass the University Access (Entrance) Test, or UAT. This test, besides complying with this objective of suitability for university entrance, is used as an indicator of prestige for the schools.
In this stage of the research, the specific aims put forward are as follows:
1. To verify the consistency of the effects or influences on different subjects.
2. To analyse the stability of the effects. This involves determining if the schools are effective in a stable manner or does this effectiveness vary from one year to another. In other words, do the schools that obtain high UAT scores do so every year?
3. To analyse the relation of the ISEC and the UAT scores. Does ISEC have an influence on the scores obtained in the UAT?
4. To analyse the continuity of school influences over time. In other words, do those schools obtaining high scores in the Diagnostic Evaluation also obtain high UAT scores?
In order to carry out the research, the scores obtained in the Diagnostic Evaluations for all the schools in the Basque Country for 2009, 2010 and 2011 were available; in concrete, there are 335 schools at Compulsory Secondary Education level.
Likewise, the scores obtained in each subject evaluated by all the schools putting forward students for the UAT from 2007 to 2011 were available. In this case, there were 206 schools which, besides Compulsory Secondary Education level, included those Post-obligatory Secondary Education centres allowed access to the UAT (not all the schools evaluated, therefore were Compulsory Secondary Education level ones).
The results obtained showed that the influences on school subjects were consistent, i.e. those schools obtaining high scores in certain subjects also obtained high scores in all subjects. Likewise, those obtaining low scores obtained them across the range of the curriculum.
It was shown that the scores obtained in the UAT are stable over time. Those schools obtaining high scores in one year do so in the following academic years.
The socioeconomic and cultural index (ISEC) was crucial in order to explain the differences in the scores obtained in the UAT. The higher the ISEC of the school, the better the scores obtained in the UAT.
The analyses carried out showed those schools obtaining high scores in the Diagnostic Evaluation (14 years) also obtained high UAT scores (18 years). This situation was the same in the three years analysed.