Improving Underperforming Schools

In het tijdschrift JESPAR, Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk, deden Thoni Houtveen, Wim van der Grift, Jantine Kuijpers, Marije Boot, Frans Groot en Harrie Kooijman verslag van de effecten van een drie jarige interventie gericht op het revitaliseren van een vijftal scholen in complexe situaties:

Improving Underperforming Schools

Thoni Houtveen
Department of Education, Utrecht University of Applied Sciences,
The Netherlands

Wim van de Grift
Inspectorate of Education of the Netherlands

Jantine Kuijpers
Department of Education, Utrecht University,
The Netherlands

Marije Boot
Giralis, Partners in Education

Frans Groot
Harrie Kooijman
Institute for Educational Development and Advice

In response to an evaluation conducted by the Netherlands Inspectorate of Education of the nation's elementary schools, the Institute for Educational Development and Advice (Christelijk Pedagogisch Studiecentrum, CPS) undertook a 3-year intervention to revitalize 5 schools experiencing problems with student achievement, curriculum, teaching-Iearning processes, and/or schoolorganization. The target for these 5 schools was to reach the same level of student achievement in Dutch and mathematics of schools with comparable student populations. The program emphasized professional development for both school management and teachers. Te achers participated in 30 training sessions with an emphasis on quality of teaching, classroom management, school curriculum, teaching materials, and effective strategies for accommodating differences between students and struggling leamers. Interventions in the curriculum were made on the basis of interpretation of standardized test scores. In the 2nd year of the program, school management personnel were trained to take over the role of the CPS consultants. The 3rd year emphasized consolidation and incorporation of goals. At the end of the project, 2 schools had reached the project's target; 2 others had implemented most of the program and improved student achievement but had not reached the target. The last school had only partially implemented the program, and average student achievements were still far below the expected level.