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Het gebruik en effect van prestatiegegevens uit Vensters voor Verantwoording

Huigen, Hilda (2013) Het gebruik en effect van prestatiegegevens uit Vensters voor Verantwoording.

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Abstract:Accountability is increasingly important in education. Parents, pupils, policymakers and other stakeholders think it is important to know how quality is guaranteed and how public money is spent. A possibility for schools to learn how they perform and to show the outside world how they work on quality is to work on ‘quality care’. Quality care has various forms, lying in a continuum from internal to external quality care. Internal quality care consists of activities initiated by the school or institution itself. External quality care initiatives are initiated by persons or institutions outside the school. Results from school self evaluation are often used to assess the schools’ own functioning, while external quality care activities (for example visits and judgments from the inspectorate or accreditation committees) aim to compare the school with other educational organisations, by comparing their performances or by comparing the performance of the school with other prior set standards. This project is carried out under commission of ‘Het Stedelijk Lyceum’. Since two years, this community of schools for public secondary education participates in the school accountability project ‘Vensters voor Verantwoording’ (literally translates ‘Windows for accountability’). This project, started in 2007, was initiated by the ‘VO-raad’ (Dutch council for secondary education). The aim of this project is to contribute to the fairness and openness of the discussion about education between schools and their stakeholders, by providing them fair and useful information about the school performance and their output. Besides, schools can be compared based on the publicly disclosed performance information. This project has characteristics from internal quality care as well as external quality care. Schools provide their own (performance) data and information to the ‘Vensters’, after which they are shown to the interested parties in a preconceived pattern on a public website. Next to this, the more specific performance information (down to subject levels) can be found at the so called ‘Managementvensters’, the schools’ private web space at the ‘Vensters voor Verantwoording’ website. While writing, 96,5% of Dutch schools for secondary education participate this extensive accountability project. Expectations are that participation causes improvement of school quality and more effectiveness within the school, although this has never been examined. This seems a bit remarkably, because the inspectorate is using information from ‘Vensters’ in their judgement of a schools quality. To contribute to the scientific knowledge base of ‘Vensters voor Verantwoording’ and to discover if these expected goals (better school quality and effectiveness) are met, it is advantageous to examine in what way the schools use the information from ‘Vensters voor Verantwoording’ and which effects this use has on the participating schools. This research has therefore focused on the existence of these expected effects in different locations of ‘Het Stedelijk Lyceum’. Based on the theory of school performance feedback systems (SPFS) a conceptual model was composed in order to show the expected relations between the use of a SPFS (‘Vensters voor Verantwoording’), the conditions for use and the effects of the use. Literature shows that the use of quality care systems correlates positive to an increase of school quality and school effectiveness. The practical research, consisting of different questionnaires for the teachers and school managers, has focused on exploring the experiences of respondents with respect to the ‘Vensters voor Verantwoording’, and the experienced effects of this use. The used questionnaires developed for this research, are inspired and partly based on the extensive questionnaire developed by Schildkamp 6 (2007), who investigated the use of a SPFS for primary education. In the end, 75 persons were found to fill in the answers to the questionnaires, 57 teachers and 18 school managers. The participating teachers were employed at three different school locations of ‘Het Stedelijk Lyceum’, namely ‘Kottenpark’, ‘Zuid’ and ‘Zwering’. The results were processed in descriptive and statistical ways. According to the outcomes of the questionnaires 28 of the 57 teachers (49,1%) don’t know the accountability project ‘Vensters voor Verantwoording’; don’t know their own results nor do they use these results in their daily routine. The teachers who are familiar with ‘Vensters voor Verantwoording’ are generally positive about the use of this performance information. The school managers (‘MT-leden’ in Dutch) are all familiar with the existence of ‘Vensters voor Verantwoording’, because the school board informed them about the existence and possibilities at a study day. All the participating school managers think it is important to have discussions about the functioning of the school, and they are almost unanimously positive about the fact that use of ‘Vensters voor Verantwoording’ is positive. However, the actual use of the data is not (yet) sufficient and effective. At the start of participating in ‘Vensters voor Verantwoording’ the school board was not sure if they were evolving in the right direction, with regard to the construction of a stable quality care system for their locations. Participating in ‘Vensters voor Verantwoording’ shows that the school is willing to show their performance to the outside world; in other words, that they are willing to take responsibility for their own actions, based on data-use. Unfortunately, the use of the actual gathered performance data is not yet adopted (enough) by a very important target group, the teachers. When they are better informed about the existence of ‘Vensters voor Verantwoording’, getting insight in the information and outcomes from their own location and the positive contribution data use can have on the school quality the ownership with reference to (the use of) the output data raises. In the end this may lead to increased school quality and school effectiveness. Next to this, the school managers and location leaders experience the use of ‘Vensters voor Verantwoording’ as very positive. Because of this, they should be pointed out as ambassadors for the use of outcomes from ‘Vensters voor Verantwoording’. Also, the current policy of working in result-responsible teams can contribute to the data-use within the school, for example by involving them in the information supply for the ‘Vensters voor Verantwoording’ and by teaching the teachers how to use performance information effectively. This may lead to an expanded feeling of ownership among school staff. The last advice is to replicate this research in two or three years. This may lead to a knowledge base with regard to the use of data from ‘Vensters voor Verantwoording’. It will provide information about eventual growth of use of performance information, about the growth of ownership and eventual negative effects of the use of the results.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:81 education, teaching
Programme:Educational Science and Technology MSc (60023)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/64277
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