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Policies, Performance and Panaceas: What international assessments are good for — and not—for developing countries

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Abstract:

articipation in international assessments has increased dramatically over the past decades, from a handful of developed countries to nearly one-third of all countries. What has this increase meant? Has it improved educational policies (and if so, which ones)? Has it improved the performance of assessment organizations, students and teachers? Is testing the educational panacea that some claim it to be?
Policies. UNESCO’s EFA GMRs and professional conferences all feature discussions of the results from international assessments, linking results to education policy. Recent cross-national studies of economic growth utilize results from such assessments. In-country, the major policy impacts of international assessments have been on curriculum reform and on highlighting discrepancies between “policy rhetoric” and actual practice.
Performance. Participation in international assessments reinforces national capacity for assessments. It builds technical capacity for large-scale assessment, managing large research endeavors and preparing reports for policy makers. It increases a country’s likelihood of undertaking a national assessment or participating in a different international assessment. But participation has little direct impact on improved teacher behavior or student achievement.
Panacea. Recently, policy think tanks have refocused on assessment as a tool for reform. Thus, a key element of the World Bank’s newest strategy paper is the measurement of learning outcomes, and the Center for Global Development has called for “Cash on Delivery Aid for Education”, that would pay recipient governments a fixed amount for each additional student who completes primary school and takes a standardized test. But “high stakes” tests are not a panacea.
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Association:
Name: 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society
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http://www.cies.us


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p492709_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Lockheed, Marlaine. "Policies, Performance and Panaceas: What international assessments are good for — and not—for developing countries" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p492709_index.html>

APA Citation:

Lockheed, M. "Policies, Performance and Panaceas: What international assessments are good for — and not—for developing countries" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p492709_index.html

Publication Type: Panel Paper
Abstract: articipation in international assessments has increased dramatically over the past decades, from a handful of developed countries to nearly one-third of all countries. What has this increase meant? Has it improved educational policies (and if so, which ones)? Has it improved the performance of assessment organizations, students and teachers? Is testing the educational panacea that some claim it to be?
Policies. UNESCO’s EFA GMRs and professional conferences all feature discussions of the results from international assessments, linking results to education policy. Recent cross-national studies of economic growth utilize results from such assessments. In-country, the major policy impacts of international assessments have been on curriculum reform and on highlighting discrepancies between “policy rhetoric” and actual practice.
Performance. Participation in international assessments reinforces national capacity for assessments. It builds technical capacity for large-scale assessment, managing large research endeavors and preparing reports for policy makers. It increases a country’s likelihood of undertaking a national assessment or participating in a different international assessment. But participation has little direct impact on improved teacher behavior or student achievement.
Panacea. Recently, policy think tanks have refocused on assessment as a tool for reform. Thus, a key element of the World Bank’s newest strategy paper is the measurement of learning outcomes, and the Center for Global Development has called for “Cash on Delivery Aid for Education”, that would pay recipient governments a fixed amount for each additional student who completes primary school and takes a standardized test. But “high stakes” tests are not a panacea.


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