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International Study of City Youth (ISCY)

The International Study of City Youth (Cities Project) follows 10th Grade students in a number of cities of the world to understand how their school experiences and achievements influence their careers and life more broadly.

ISCY follows cohorts of students who complete an initial skills test in mathematics and reading (PISA), and then complete a questionnaire which asks them about their high school experiences, school engagement, values, views on society and life, and their hopes and plans for future work and study. The survey also includes measures of non-cognitive skills, such as perseverance, application, learning strategies, and social skills.  Recent evidence suggests that such skills can be important in promoting individual success and can be influenced by the work of teachers and schools.  The study will track student progress through school and beyond.

The project also surveys principals and secondary teachers responsible in participating schools. They complete questionnaires which cover school policy and context, programs, the needs of students, the educational challenges which the school faces, how the school sees its role for the families served by the school, and the particular programs or activities that schools offer to improve learning and transition outcomes for their students. This information will help understand each school in the context of other schools serving each city, and from a classroom as well as a school management perspective.

The project will compare how well different education systems prepare young people for life beyond school. Its comparative nature offers the opportunity to identify policies and practices that promote student economic and social integration as students transition out of secondary education into further education, training and employment.  It provides a unique opportunity to measure the relationship between student progress in school and future outcomes, and this might vary across cities depending on context and programs.