The student questionnaires gather important information about students’ socioeconomic family background, school career, learning motivation, and the school and class climate. Data on learning motivation and the school and class climate is reported back by class and school level. Results are not reported on an individual basis. Information on family background and school career is used to ensure “fair comparison” (explanation in the next paragraph).
Family background information is required to perform a statistical analysis of “fair comparison”. “Fair comparison” takes into account the impact of various student characteristics. It answers the question to what extent differences between classes go beyond what would have been statistically expected anyway, given the diverse body of students. Relating the individual class’ performance profile to classes with a comparable sociocultural and socioeconomic makeup allows teachers (who may for example be working very effectively under “difficult conditions”) to receive positive and scientifically validated performance feedback on their class. However, ranges of expectations are not only interesting to teachers working in “difficult” conditions – they are also of interest to all teachers wanting to obtain a fair picture of the performance of their class’ students.