Dr Inge De Wolf, Top Institute for evidence based Education Research (TIER), University of Amsterdam + R&D manager Inspectorate of Education
There are various differences between the educational systems of the US and the Netherlands, a small country with high test scores and low government spending on education. Two major differences are that the Dutch system has (a) an inspectorate and accountability system and (b) free school choice (the 'ultimate voucher system'). The presentation starts with an overview of the Dutch inspection and accountability system. Thereafter the central assumptions underlying this system are confronted with results of various empirical studies. These include results about the reliability and validity of risk models and value added models of schools. Results also show that the quality of Dutch schools has improved over the years, but the effect of inspection visits on test scores is minimal or lacking. A third assumption discussed is on school accountability. There are indications that the system of naming and shaming leads to school improvement, but school choice is hardly affected by school quality.