Feniger, Yariv. “Jewish Ethnicity and Educational Opportunities in Israel: Evidence from a Curricular Reform.” Race, Ethnicity, and Education 18.4 (2015): 567-88.
Based on a 20% representative sample of all high school students in Israel in the mid-1990s, this study explores a reform implemented in low socio-economic status (SES) state religious high schools. Most of their students were from the disadvantaged Jewish ethnic group in Israel, Mizrachim. Perceived as unable to meet the requirements of academic programs, more than half these students studied on lower ranked vocational tracks. As part of the reform, these tracks were replaced by academic tracks aimed at awarding students a matriculation diploma. Comparable low SES secular high schools did not adopt the same curriculum change, so a comparison of these two types of school for learning opportunities became possible. Results revealed a significant improvement in matriculation eligibility rates in low SES religious schools while eligibility rates in comparable non-religious schools remained relatively stable.