Stricter teacher training admissions don't lead to better students, prof says


Admission tests for teacher training implemented in 2015 were intended to lead to better students who will actually finish their training. But these tests are not having the desired effect, according to professor on education labor market Frank Corvers in the publication Onderwijs aan het werk 2018, Trouw reports.

The intention of the implemented language- and mathematics tests was to increase the level of first years studying to become teachers. But the final exam results of young people who opt for teacher training, haven't changed. What did change is the number of first years in teacher training - 11,366 in 2006 and 5,496 in 2015, though a drop in the number of students was expected when the tests were introduced. 

It was also hoped that the admission tests would lead to fewer dropouts. In that case there would be fewer first years, but not necessarily fewer teachers graduating. The dropout rate did decrease slightly in the first year that the admission tests were introduced. But still around 1 in 3 first-year teacher students stop studying, slightly more than the average in higher professional education, according to the newspaper. 

"The selection of students did not have the effect it should have", Corvers concludes. "It's a flop you could say." Corvers is affiliated with the Universities of Tilburg and Maastricht. He is one of the compilers of Onderwijs aan het werk 2018.

The lower number of first year students in teacher training is a major problem, given the rising teacher shortage in the Netherlands. It is expected that there will be a shortage of 3 thousand full-time primary school teachers in two years time. A small bright spot is that the number of first-year students is rising again, though it is still less than in 2014, before the tests were introduced.