Learning from learning assessments: the politics and policies of attaining quality education

Author(s): Draxler, Alexandra; Jakovleski, Velibor

Organisation(s): Network for International Policies and Cooperation in Education and Training; Brookings Institution (USA). Center for Universal Education; Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (Switzerland)

Date: 2016

Pages: 14 p.

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Learning assessments have increasing influence in education policy-making and reform. In response to both the accomplishments and disappointments related to the Millennium Development Goals (2000 – 2015) and to the new aspirations under the Sustainable Development Goals (2015-2030), there is global interest in the development and use of standards and indicators for measuring learning achievement. This widespread use of assessments is based on the assumption that data can help strengthen accountability and guide policy to make education more efficient and equitable. However, assessment data are frequently either misused or do not positively influence policy-making or student learning. Moreover, international learning assessments are not a single, uniform tool. There are different and sometimes competing methods and objectives between international, regional and national assessments. The overarching questions of the roundtable were, thus: Can the measurement of learning outcomes lead to improved quality education for all? If so, how?

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