Student group differences in examination results and utilization for policy and school development

Kim Schildkamp, Lyset T.M. Rekers-Mombarg, Truus J. Harms

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


At the end of secondary education in The Netherlands, students have to pass a final examination, consisting of an internal school-based assessment and an external national assessment. According to the Dutch inspectorate, to ensure the quality of final examinations, the discrepancy between both assessments must be less than 0.5 points (on a scale from 1 to 10). In the first part of this study, we demonstrate that these examination results are a rich source of data schools can use. We investigated the discrepancy between school and central examination grades for different groups of students and found that the discrepancies for some student groups are too high. The second part of this study focuses on the use of examination results as an important source of data in improvement planning. The results show that final examination results are underutilized and that schools rarely investigate discrepancies for certain student groups
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-255
JournalSchool effectiveness and school improvement
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Data-driven decision making
  • Assessment
  • Final examinations
  • Ethnicity
  • School improvement


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