Study on district schools in hamburg: left party calls for lack of transparency

The Senate has published the results of a study on the learning status at various types of schools. The Left Party speaks of district school bashing.

Dreisatz is also super exciting in the city district school. Perhaps Photo: dpa

A "nail in the coffin for the city district schools" calls the chairwoman of the left-wing parliamentary group, Sabine Boeddinghaus, the "cannibalization" of the results of the Kermit study – in her opinion, the Senate should not have released them. The results of the study, which annually records the learning levels of students at elementary schools, high schools and district schools, had previously only been published internally at schools.

Now, however, the Senate did release the results, in response to a written question from the FDP parliamentary group. Anna von Treuenfels-Frowein, deputy chair of the FDP parliamentary group, calls the results devastating. The differences between the district schools and the high schools are striking.

The "Kompetenzen Ermitteln" (Kermit) study uses a standardized test to measure students’ skills in math, German, science and foreign languages every year. Among other things, it tests eighth-graders to see how many students are already at the learning level they need to graduate from secondary school a good two years later.

It’s a "deliberate overchallenge," says school board spokesman Peter Albrecht, "designed to show how far away students still are from the goal of a Realschule diploma." That way, he says, teachers can develop a perspective on their teaching. That the result must be bad is clear, the excitement exaggerated, he says.

"The comparison is counterproductive"

The excitement Albrecht speaks of, in addition to the reaction of the FDP, also goes back to an article in the Hamburger Abendblatt. There, it’s mainly about the big difference between city district schools and high schools. The district schools perform much worse than the high schools in Kermit: Almost 43 percent of the eighth graders at district schools do not reach the required minimum standards in "German reading comprehension". For high school students, the figure is only 2.5 percent.

Spelling: 50 percent of district school students did not reach the standard they must be at by the end of tenth grade to graduate from Realschule. For high school students, that was only 1.5 percent.

Math: About 77 percent of eighth graders in district schools are below what they need to be able to do by the end of tenth grade. For high school students, the figure is just over eight percent.

English listening comprehension: Too low was the level for 48.5 percent of district school students and for 1.5 percent of high school students.

English reading comprehension: 60.8 of the district school students and 3.3 percent of the high school students were below the targeted level.

Albrecht says it is clear that the difference is large: at the city district schools, almost one-third of the eighth grades are made up of students who are not aiming for a Realschulabschluss at all, but only a Hauptschulabschluss.

Boeddinghaus accuses the Senate of contributing to district school bashing by publishing the data. "The comparison between school models is counterproductive," she says. City district schools do much more in terms of refugee education and inclusion, she says. If the school authorities are serious about them, they should provide them with much more money and also hold the high schools accountable for inclusion.

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