Name: Marks and applications (Betyg och ansökningar)
Period(s): 1966-(~)1972 (SMS)
Code book: II


By Carl-Gunnar Janson (1980) Register Data I. A code book. Project Metropolitan Research Report No 12. Stockholm.

In each school marks given at the end of each semester were registered by class and filed. They were not recorded centrally. Marks were given according to a five-point scale with five as the highest mark and one as the lowest. A mark of three should mean about average achievement. In sixth form marks were given in Swedish, Mathematics, English, Divinity, Socia1 Science, History, Geography, Science, Music, Drawing, Sloyd, and Gymnastics. There were also characters on Conduct and Orderliness according to a letter scale with A as the normal mark meaning no serious complaints, B and C signifying sub-standard behaviour.

As distinguished from sixth form, ninth form was divided in various programs, some of which were predominantly theoretical, whereas others were mostly practical. In ninth form Science was split in Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. Mathematics and English were studied as General Course or as an extended Special Course; Housekeeping was added. Depending on the program German or French or other subjects, such as Typing, Engineering, Bookkeeping, or Drama, were added. It was also noted whether the pupil had passed a test of swimming. In both forms absence (number of hours) with and without valid excuse during the semester was recorded. However, the registration of hours of absence was less complete in ninth form, possibly because, especially in nontheoretical programs, much activity was placed outside the ordinary class room and beyond direct control of school authorities.

On February 21, 1970, Project Metropolitan asked the School Boards of Stockholm City and Stockholm County for permission to use the records of the Spring Semesters of sixth and ninth forms of elementary school for pupils born in 1953. Permission was granted on March 2 and March 16, respectively. Letters asking for copies of the records were mailed to the head-masters of elementary schools of Stockholm City on March 12, 1970, and to the heads of the School Boards of the suburban municipalities on March 23.

The schools cooperated loyally, although naturally it took some reminders and telephone calls before the records were in. Many schools sent copies but others wanted project staff to come out to take copies. Especially the records for those retarded or ahead at school took some work, as they had to be specially looked for by either school or project staff. From 1965 some changes had been in school districts and some schools had ceased to operate. The records of disscontinued city-schools were deposited in the City Archives, and those of closed-down suburban schools were eventually found in various places. Three private schools were no longer operating, and their records could not be obtained. A progressive private school did not use marks and thus had no records to send. Schools that did not participate in the School Study were not asked records.

On July 31, 1970, a new letter was sent to head-masters and heads of School Boards concerning the records of the 1970 Spring Semester. Even these records received or copied.

No records contained ID-numbers, so pupils must be identified from names and checked with lists from the School Study, addresses, and the city register of pupils of compulsory school age. The identification proved to be quite time consuming and sometimes could not be made with reasonable certainty. For those identified data were coded and put on tape. Marks on each subject were not transferred to the tape. Instead the average of marks on all subjects except Gymnastics was used.

The amount of missing data varies between items. Municipality of school in sixth form is known for all but 786 cohort members. Of them, 288 had left the area by May, 1966. The balance are those who attended certain private or special schools, or no school at all, those who left the area after May, 1966, but before leaving sixth form in 1967, and those who were overlooked and could not be located. The data gathering procedure employed meant that individual cohort members were not searched for but that class records were searched for pupils born in 1953 and included if they contained data for any such pupil. Those on the lists were then identified; if possible, after which some cohort members were simply found missing. For some of them their school was known.

Mean marks in sixth form are not available for another 139 members, whose records were not found although their schools were known, or who did not get marks on at least 149 eight subjects because they had been absent too much or for other reasons. Sometimes absences were not stated in the records, which led to 1,916 missing values in the table on absences with valid excuse in sixth form. Corresponding numbers of missing values as to ninth form are higher. More cohort members had left the area at that age (947 on November, 1970), a few more had gone to other schools, and some members had their ninth form postponed or cancelled. Furthermore, in 1966 it was known from the School Study what school in the area a particular cohort member attended, but this was not so in 1969. Thus information on municipality of school in ninth form is missing for 1,620 members, and mean marks are unavailable for 82 more members. Due to incomplete registration hours of absence with valid excuse are not recorded for as many as 3,339 cohort members. Note that marks in ninth form are difficult to compare between programs.

After the compulsory nine-year comprehensive school, the student may go on to secondary education or to vocational school. Secondary school can be four, three, or two years. At the time when most members of the Metropolitan cohort left elementary school, i.e. around 1969, the secondary school offered four- and three-year courses and the vocational training school (fackskola) two-year courses, both with a variety of programs in different fields and various degrees of theoretical or practical orientation. Generally, the secondary school programs were more theoretical than the lines of the vocational training school. Most of them permitted entry to undergraduate studies at the universities, whereas the two-year courses did not. (This is now changed. The two-year courses have been included in the secondary school and one may go on to some undergraduate courses from them).

Secondary school had four different programs: Arts and Social Sciences, Economics, Science, and Technical; vocational training school had seven: Social and Linguistic, Social and Natural Sciences, Economics, and four technical programs (Mechanics, Building, Electro, and Chemical). Stockholm City had 40 secondary schools and the suburban area had 18.

Applicants for secondary education, including two-year vocational schools, sent in their applications to a central board for the metropolitan area, giving their preferences as to programs and schools and whether preferences of programs were more or less important 150 to them than preferences of schools. First applications could be sent to the board before a given date during the ninth year of comprehensive school and then once a year.

The project obtained permission to search the cohort members among applications of 1968-72. For members found preferences, average marks, and the board's decisions, i.e. admittance/non-admittance, program and school if admitted, were recorded for each application. The applications were searched for each year, five times in all.

In 1968 only those one year ahead could apply, but in 1969 the majority could. These two years 8,559 first or second-time applications were found. In 1970 1,140 cohort members applied. Most of these applicants were among those who were rejected the year before or did not apply then. Some of them, however, were accepted but did not enter for some reasons or entered but now wanted to change to another program. In 1971 and 1972 only 948 and 551 members applied, respectively, for the first, second, or third time. No doubt some members applied for and began secondary school or vocational training school even later but they are not included here. If, however, they completed their secondary education they would be included among those recorded in another set of data, which the project obtained from the National Statistical Central Bureau on all members who went through secondary school or vocational training
school up till 1978. Tables from that set are not given in the present codebook.

It should be noted that applications by cohort members who had left the area and applied for admittance at a school in another area were not handled by the Board and thus were not recorded. As already mentioned rather few had left the area in 1969-72. Anyhow, secondary education outside the metropolitan area is included in the set provided by the National Statistical Central Bureau.