Compensating for Family Disadvantage: An Analysis of the Effects of Boarding School on Chinese Students' Academic Achievement
China implemented a policy to improve education equity through investing in boarding programs of public schools in rural and less-developed areas. However, this policy has not been informed by empirical research in the Chinese context. By using the nationally representative longitudinal data, this study investigates whether and to what extent boarding schools compensate for children's family disadvantages in terms of mathematics and reading achievement. The findings, drawn from multilevel logistic regression and hierarchical models, indicate that students from low-SES families or rural areas tend to board at schools. Boarding students performed better than day students in 8th-grade mathematics tests. Among students with essential needs, those residing at school during the week significantly benefitted in their school performance in both subjects. Overall, it appears that governmental investment in boarding programs can, to some extent, compensate for some family disadvantages.
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