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An Index of Socio-economic Diversity (Integration) in Israeli Schools

Activity type: Working group
Activity coordinator: Oded Bushrian
Activity period: Active committee - From 2017

At the behest of the Ministry of Education, the Initiative for Applied Education Research established a working group that aims to develop an index of socio-economic diversity (integration) in Israeli schools. The index will be based upon criteria such as internal and external validity, reliability, and ease of comprehension by stakeholders and by the general public.

Members of the working group include academicians from the fields of education, economics and sociology, representatives from the following Ministry of Education divisions: ICT, Economics and Budgeting, Pedagogic Administration, Planning and Strategy, RAMA (acronym for The National Authority for Measurement and Evaluation in Education), and the Legal Bureau. As part of the group’s work and in order to develop the index, various indicators will be simulated in the framework of which grades from schools throughout the country will be compared to the Ministry’s existing knowledge about integration levels nationwide.

To create the index, the working group will delineate a relevant population, a geographic area and how it is to be divided, the socio-economic parameter on the basis of which the population will be characterized, and the distribution of the phenomenon in the population.

The working group sessions will address the following topics, among others:

1. Familiarization with and examination of the frequently used and accepted indexes in research on the topic of socio-economic diversity in different countries around the world, and their advantages and disadvantages.

2. Examination of earlier research of socio-economic diversity in Israeli schools, and the indexes used in those studies.

3. Examination of alternatives for units of comparison: comparing the index at the national and international levels; comparing different sectors of education (state, religious, ultra-Orthodox, and Arab) and different stages of schooling (elementary, intermediate, high school); a school index and a class index (for each school, as compared to the city, and for each class as compared to the school).

4. Definition of the variables to which we would wish to apply the index (students from different socio-economic levels, veterans in contrast with immigrants, level of mother’s education, scholastic abilities, and more).

For additional details: Oded Busharian, the group's academic coordinator, oded.education@academy.ac.il