Overall, we can conclude from this years’ school value added scores published by CEPOS that there is a big difference in how good the elementary schools in Denmark, numbering slightly over 1,400, are at increasing their pupils' grade point average in relation to their socio-economic background.
When comparing schools, it is important to take into account the type of homes that students come from. It will be easier for a school with many children from homes with substantial resources to get high grade point averages than it is for schools with many children from homes, where the parents, for instance, do not have high levels of education. The analysis takes this into account when calculating the ability of schools to lift students.
A school of 1 implies that the students’ average grade in the final test is 1 point higher than what one would expect given the socio-economic background of the students.
In general, private elementary schools are best at lifting their students, but on average public schools also have slightly higher than average value added. On the other hand, continuation schools, on average, drag student grades down.
Each year, the Danish Ministry of Education calculates the socio-economic references for the Danish schools.
The figures compare performance at the final exam of 9th and/or 10th graders with the socio-economic background of the students in qeustion. In other words, the students’ background, parents' educational level, income and so on are considered.
The socio-economic background of the graduating pupils at the individual schools is then translated into an expression of expected grade performances in the final school examination. If the school gives the students the exact academic lift expected given socio-economic characteristics, the teaching efficiency is zero.
Schools where students achieve better results than expected come out with a positive value added. At other schools, the opposite is true.
The higher the number is above zero, the better the school is at developing students academically.
Some schools manage to lift students half a grade higher than one would expect, while others are half a grade below what is expected. However, the vast majority of schools are between +0.3 and -0.3.