PhD Lunch Seminars Rotterdam

Esmee Zwiers (Erasmus University Rotterdam)
Thursday, May 26, 2016

This paper examines parental aversion to the lowest educational track by exploiting a Dutch educational reform introduced in 1999. The reform combined the two lowest tracks into one, implying that school tracks that were previously not considered as the `lowest track’ suddenly were framed as the `lowest track’. This reform allows for an examination of parental behavioral responses as to avoid their children’s enrollment in the lowest educational track. The results suggest that aversion to the lowest educational track remained despite the efforts of the Dutch government to change the educational system. The aversion seems to be directed particularly at the lowest sub-tracks of the pre-vocational track (vmbo). Although there is an indication that parents try to manipulate standardized test scores to avoid the lowest track, there is no conclusive evidence that parents influenced the teacher’s school track recommendation.