National assessments of educational achievement

National assessments of educational achievement

Publisher: IIEP
Serie: Education Policy Series
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One of the key features of the worldwide discussion and debate concerning the need to achieve Education for All
(EFA) has been a broader interpretation of this challenge to ensure that increased access to education is delivered
in association with improvements in the conditions of schooling and student achievement levels.
This major focus on ‘quality’ has been encouraged by the emerging understanding that education systems can act
as pathways to national economic development in an increasingly globalized world.
Many nations have now established national assessment mechanisms with the aim of monitoring and evaluating
the quality of their education systems across several time points. Some of these initiatives have been embedded within
international assessments – such as TIMSS organized by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational
Achievement (IEA), the PISA Study organized by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
(OECD), and the Grade 6 Surveys organized by the Southern and Eastern Africa Consortium for Monitoring Educational
Quality (SACMEQ ). This booklet examines the key issues and decision-points for
ministries of education that are (or will soon be) involved in national assessments. It commences with a discussion of
what and who should be measured in national assessments, and then proceeds to an examination of initial planning
requirements and research implementation considerations related to the collection, analysis, and reporting of national
assessment data. Finally the booklet proposes a framework for classifying types of educational policy and action that
have been prompted by national assessments, and then concludes by mapping the common and unique aspects of national
and international assessments
Authors Postlethwaite, T. Neville/Kellaghan, Thomas
ISBN 978-92-803-1321-5
Date of publication 2008
Number of pages 32 p.

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