The last post about teacher densities in Oslo and Trondheim led to questions about the relevance of the comparison. Teachers in Oslo might have a higher level of qualifications, and this might make up for their relative scarcity. Unfortunately, I’m unable to give a prompt answer to this question, as I don’t have access to sufficiently detailed statistics.
However, Grunnskolens informasjonssystem contains statistics on the number of worked teacher years fulfilling the formal requirements for teaching competency according to the level and subject in question. According to these data, Trondheim is far superior to Oslo! Raw data can be found here.
The formal prerequisites for teaching competency doesn’t necessarily correlate with academic competency. Oslo might have a higher fraction of teachers with university studies complemented with short teacher preparation courses, while Trondheim might have a high fraction of teachers with university college diplomas.
It is also possible that there are differences in cateogorization and in the manner statistics are being reported. The extension of teacher preparation courses (PPU) from 30 to 60 ECTS credits might have played a role for Oslo. Trondheim also used to have a different model for these courses which may have led to a larger pool of teachers in that city.
If that is the case, it is an example of the inherent weakness that comes with building systems that are heavily based on quanitative data: The quality of the indicators determine the quality of the system. Increasing the amount of resources spent on increasing the quality of the indicators entails a risk of misallocation: Those resources might well have been better employed in actual teaching.