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Value added in educational accountability: possible, fair and useful?

27 November 2012

PhD ceremony: Ms. A.C. Timmermans, 11.00 uur, Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen

Dissertation: Value added in educational accountability: possible, fair and useful?

Promotor(s): prof. R.J. Bosker

Faculty: Behavioural and Social Sciences

Educational institutions in Dutch senior secondary education hardly differ in their performance as measured by value added. Clusters of training programmes in these institutions, however, show large differences in their performance.

Establishing the performance of schools plays a major role in the Dutch educational accountability systems. However, in some schools students start at a much higher level than the students in other schools. This makes a fair comparison between schools difficult, as the schools cannot be directly compared based on pass rates or exam results. The contribution of the school on the development of students is usually called value added and is considered a relatively fair method to compare schools. Several educational accountability systems have adopted value added indicators as a part of accountability. The current study shows that it is possible to estimate the value added of schools in primary, secondary and senior secondary vocational education.

Only a few scientific studies have investigated the possibilities of estimating value added for educational institutions in vocational education. The current study shows that educational institutions hardly differ from each other in performance, when their value added is considered. However, large differences were found between clusters of training programmes within these institutions.

A recent development in educational accountability is a risk based strategy. In such a strategy, the intensity and frequency of inspections can vary between schools based on the risks of underperformance. The current study shows that for a group of 40% of the schools no or very small risks were found. This indicates that a risk based strategy can lead to efficiency gains. For an accurate prediction of the risks of schools, both data on the previous performance and quality of the processes in schools are needed.

Last modified:15 September 2017 3.41 p.m.
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