Op basis van recent onderzoek heb ik enkele lemma’s geschreven voor de wetenschappelijke online Encyclopedia die is opgezet door uitgeverij MDPI. Deze hebben voornamelijk te maken met het onderwijsachterstandenbeleid.


Parental involvement, parental participation, parent-school-community partnerships

Parental involvement is seen as an important strategy for the advancement of the quality of education. The ultimate objective of this is to expand the academic and social capacities of students, especially those of disadvantaged backgrounds determined by ethnic minority origin and low socio-economic status. In this contribution, various forms of both parental and school-initiated involvement will be described. In addition, results of studies into the effectiveness of parental involvement will be presented.



Grade retention, grade repetition, holding back a grade

Grade retention is a strategy for the remediation of learning or developmental delays. Students who cannot keep up with their peers or do not meet a predefined level repeat the same grade once again and by doing so have an extra year to get at the level that is needed to successfully manage the next grade. There are considerable doubts as regards the usefulness and effectiveness of retaining grades. Studies conclude that in the short term retaining grades may have a positive effect on academic achievement, but that this gain disappears in the longer term.



Are the Early Childhood Education claims valid?

Early Childhood Education (ECE) often is part of a broader educational disadvantage policy and offers institutional compensatory programs to young children who lack specific educational stimulation in the home environment. ECE typically aims on children from deprived socioeconomic backgrounds and those of immigrant origin. Although ECE nowadays is widespread and accepted as perhaps the most important means of preventing and combatting educational disadvantage, the controversy surrounding the evidence of effects and thus the justification and foundation of ECE provisions still is not solved. This article focuses on the basis (or lack of it) of ECE in the Netherlands.



Standard language, regional languages and dialects, and educational achievement

This item focuses on the development of usage of Standard Dutch versus regional languages and dialects. It also explores the relation between language choice and language and mathematics test performance of young children. Data were collected in 2014 and the sample analyzed included 3,639 grade 2 pupils from 437 Dutch primary schools. The results of the present analyses were compared with those from analyses performed on similar data collected twenty years earlier, in 1994. Findings show that there has been dramatic decline in usage of regional languages and dialects. No correlation was found between language choice and language and mathematic test performance.



Teacher ethnicity, pupil ethnicity, and educational achievement: A review

In many countries, ethnic minority teachers are strongly underrepresented. It is often assumed that if there were more minority teachers, minority pupils would achieve much better. This assumption has rarely been empirically tested. In search of proof, the present study reviews the literature. 24 relevant studies were found, all pertaining to the US. The findings show that there is little empirical evidence that a stronger degree of ethnic match, be it in the form of a one-to-one coupling of teachers to pupils with the same ethnic background, or a larger share of minority teachers at an ethnically mixed school, leads to predominantly positive results. Insofar positive effects were found, they apply to a greater extent to subjective teacher evaluations than to objective achievement outcome measures.



Denominational output differences of primary schools

In many education systems both public and private schools can be discerned. Differences pertain to the way they are governed and are financed, their pupil population, their curriculum and outcomes. Despite a high level of secularization in the Netherlands, most primary schools still are private denominational schools. One explanation for this paradox is that parents choose a denominational school because of its high quality and output in terms of academic achievement. This study aims at answering the question whether this argument holds true. Using large-scale data, a difference is made between gross outcomes (‘raw scores’) and net outcomes (after correcting for the schools’ ’input’ in terms of parental social and ethnic backgrounds). The study finds there to be hardly any net denominational differences. In so far as gross differences exist, these might be explained by the pupils’ social and ethnic backgrounds. In other words, there is a discrepancy between parental perceptions of gross outcomes and the reality of net scores that present a fairer indication of the actual performance of a school.



Islamic schools in the Netherlands

Because of the constitutional Freedom of education in the Netherlands, everyone can establish a school and is entitled to full state funding. There now are 52 primary Islamic schools, with around 12,500 pupils mostly of Turkish and Moroccan descent. They focus on developing an Islamic religious identity, and high educational quality and pupil achievement. Because most pupils come from socioeconomic disadvantaged backgrounds, the schools receive nearly twice as much budget than schools with a predominantly non-disadvantaged population. The existence of Islamic schools has always been controversial. Their output in terms of academic achievement is relatively high, however. In an absolute sense they achieve below the “average” Dutch school, but when compared with schools with the same disadvantaged pupil population, they achieve better. Lately, there have been problems with secondary Islamic schools in the Netherlands. As a result, several politicians propose to abolish the Freedom of education act. 



The pupil weighting system in the Netherlands

The pupil weighting system is the core financial element of the Dutch Educational Disadvantage Policy. This policy departs from the idea that children who grow up in an environment where specific “cultural capital” is lacking, face a grave risk of developing severe educational arrears right from their start in school. To compensate for this “deficit”, primary schools and other educational and welfare institutions receive additional budgets from the Ministry of Education they can use for providing extra help to the policy’s target groups. The amount of extra budget is based on socio-economic and ethnic factors in the children’s home situation. Since its implementation in 1974 the system has been changed several times. These changes are described here. For the 2019/20 school year a new system has been developed. Some points of criticism are presented; the most important is that there is no evidence that the system which has cost some 20 billion euros has been effective.