Összkép has announced the list of 20 schools in Budapest that perform the best. The results show which schools’ children achieve the best results at the standardized national competence tests, if the social background of each children is filtered out from the data by statistical methods.
According to the Hungarian Central Statistical Office, 379 primary schools were operating in Budapest in 2015. The scale is wide and colourful, thus parents have the opportunity to choose the right school for their children from an abundant supply. They can choose from a great number of state schools, parochial schools, foundation schools and private schools. However, there are much more possible choices beyond them: art schools, music schools, bilingual schools, ethnic schools and practising schools await the little ones every year. In addition to the schools specialized in certain fields, the supply of the traditional primary schools is also wide. The big variety brought a tense competition: while in 2001 the number of children per school was 325 in general, by 2015 this number has fallen to 316. Yet there are 9,000 less children aged 6-14 in Budapest compared to the data of 2001.
The already mentioned wide scale is proved by the lists below, which show the great variety regalding both location and the type of school. The top 20 schools are located in 14 districts out of Budapest’s 23 districts. The colourful list proves that there is no ultimate or perfect school, there is no magic formula or way of operation.
Where are the data from?
Schools and their pupils are challenged in different ways now and then, let it be the competence tests, PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) testing or the entrance examination of the secondary school system. Each test is a little different and evaluates the schools and the children in a different way, but they are important bases of comparison when evaluating a school’s work. The list above is based on the data of the periodic competence tests between 2008 and 2015.
Since 2006, every pupil of 6th, 8th and 10th grade has written the competence tests in Hungary. It is measured in Mathematics and Reading Comprehension in order to see to what extent children can use the knowledge they gained in school. The calculations of Összkép was based on the average results of the 6th-grade-pupils in the eight years between 2008 and 2015.
However, it is important to note that the results of these competence tests show only one dimension of the work going on in schools. These numbers do not indicate, for example, the atmosphere of the school, if the children like going to school in the morning, or what kind of psychological education they receive. It would be a great mistake to name the best school only based on the rough numbers. Children are different and different atmospheres and ways of education provide them with the safe development.
According to the objective indexes, however, being among the best ones is an unquestionable achievement. Based on this concept, the list publishes the top 20 schools in alphabetical order.
It is a general experience that in the case of standard, unified tests, children with better social background perform better. Therefore, simply based on the results of these competence tests, it cannot be clearly stated that a school achieves great results because of its outstanding pedagogical work or because it could gather many children with good social background.
This is why the concept of the so-called added pedagogical value has been created. It concentrates on to what extent the children’s results are thanked to the schools’ work. This can be calculated by filtering out the effects that are indepentent of the schools with the help of statistical methods. In the cases of the lists above, the effects regarding the children’s social background were filtered out so that the added value could be calculated.