Taalbeleid en meertaligheid
  • ISSN 0169-7420
  • E-ISSN: 2213-4883
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Recently, general standards of reference ('referentieniveaus') for language and mathe-matics were introduced in the educational system in the Netherlands. The assumption is that these standards will lead to higher levels of these basic skills. Furthermore, the standards should be helpful for the identification of low quality schools. In this article, both these expectations are questioned. Using a national database on more than 500 primary schools, it is shown that levels of language and mathematics (not surprisingly) differ widely between students from different social and ethnic backgrounds. And, as a consequence of segregation along these lines, schools with different student populations, vary widely in their outcomes. It is argued that general standards can be useful on a national level, in order to monitor the outcomes of the educational system. But in order to evaluate individual schools, more differentiated methods for evaluation are required, taking differences in student population into account.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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