Denominatie van de school, gezins- en schoolsamenstelling en onderwijsprestaties | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 37, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1567-7109
  • E-ISSN: 2468-1652



Despite an ever increasing process of secularization in Dutch society, the share of religious schools in the Netherlands has remained remarkably stable over the last fifty years. One explanation for this persistent attraction among parents is the sector’s good reputation regarding educational quality and achievement. This study tests whether this assumption corresponds with empirical reality. The data analyzed come from the second measurement round of the COOL5-18 cohort study conducted in 2011. A total of 19 cognitive and non-cognitive outcome measures were available from 27457 students in grades 2, 5 and 8 of 386 primary schools. The analyses compare the outcomes of public (i.e. neutral) schools with those of three types of religious schools, namely Protestant, Catholic, and Islamic schools. The results show that after controlling for differences between students in terms of social and ethnic background, and schools in terms of share of low educated and immigrant parents, no differences between public and religious schools remain. Meanwhile, Islamic schools appear to have a special potential regarding the elimination of their educational disadvantage.


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