Hybrid policy seminar: 2.5 years into the pandemic: Socioeconomic disadvantages and learning outcomes in Netherlands
On Tuesday January 17th 2023, Carla Haelermans (ROA, Maastricht University) will give an online presentation titled: "2.5 years into the pandemic: Socioeconomic disadvantages and learning outcomes in Netherlands." To attend this seminar, please send an e-mail to Simone Pailer (S.Pailer@cpb.nl). You will be registered at the reception or will receive a Webex-invitation via Outlook.
This paper analyses the impact of 2.5 years of Covid-19 on the learning outcomes of primary school students in The Netherlands. The first year of the pandemic contained two periods of school closures in the first year, after which large learning delays were reported, raising concerns among policymakers, teachers and parents. The next one-and-a-half year was a period in which policy interventions were initiated to undo learning delays and increased inequality. However, this period was also very chaotic as everyone acted as everything was back to normal, except that the virus was not gone yet, and it very regularly happened that children, teachers, classes and even complete schools were sent home because of increasing infections. This combined with an increasing teacher shortage led to a very chaotic school year. This paper uses data from the Netherlands Cohort Study on Education (NCO) to analyse effects of the pandemic and interrupted learning on learning outcomes, as well as inequality due the pandemic on data of about 850 000 students from 2400 schools (around 40% of all primary schools). Standardized test results for reading, spelling and mathematics are used, of which each student writes two tests per year in grades 1 to 5. Furthermore, this paper looks into the difference in effect by socioeconomic characteristics of students’ family situation, such as migration background, household structure, household income, and the education level of parents as well as school characteristics. In this paper learning outcomes during different periods of time are analysed and compared, for different subgroups of students, giving unique insight in how the learning results as well as inequality between students have developed since the start of the pandemic.