Underprivileged classmates have no effect on later test scores
According to research carried out at the University of Leuven, middle class students in secondary school test the same whether they went to primary school with a large population of underprivileged children or not
Putting fears to rest
Vanwynsberghe compared the scores and general academic performance of thousands of students in Flemish secondary schools who came from similar socio-economic backgrounds but had attended very different primary schools. The students who had attended schools with large populations of children from low socio-economic backgrounds scored the same as those who had attended schools with children from wealthier families.
“Seventeen-year-olds of similar backgrounds did as well in maths regardless of the populations of their primary schools,” said Vanwynsberghe.
Schools in Flanders with a majority of underprivileged children receive extra funding and other resources from the government. “The question is,” said Vanwynsberghe, “are the extra resources why the pupils do just as well over the long term or are these extra resources just not necessary?”
Photo courtesy My Machine Vlaanderen