Issue 1/2020, 112. Volume Page 9–40
“Forecasts Are Difficult, especially with Regard to the Future”
Selected Results from an Ex-Post-Evaluation of Student Number Projections by the KMK
A key element to forecast the future need for teacher employment are student number projections as precise as possible. In connection with publications by the Bertelsmann Foundation, regarding the existing and the future lack of teachers, the projections by The Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder in the Federal Republic of Germany (KMK) have been fiercely criticized – in the political discourse, by teacher associations, and by the mass media. They blamed the KMK and the federal states among others for basing their calculations on outdated forecasts of student numbers and for not considering risen and predictably further rising student numbers sufficiently. By means of a post-ex evaluation of selected aspects of the KMK’s student number projections since 2000, this article deals with the question whether these charges are justified. Furthermore, it presents considerations how the quality of medium- and long-term forecasts might be improved.
The Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder in the Federal Republic of Germany, student number projection, population projection, forecasts, ex-post evaluation, probablistic models, bottom-up approaches
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