23 SES 04 B, Evaluation and Policy Enactments
A first assumption in this paper is that the political discourse pertaining to school external evaluation aims to lead actions in specific directions and achieve predetermined goals. A common premise is that policies are driven by power struggles between empowered stakeholders, sometimes from outside the political arena (Ball, 1998). These entities or individuals have intentions and goals they want to see in the political discourse, and therefore, in the changes promoted by it (Bridges, 2014). This set of intentions and goals constitute the international educational political agenda that commands the policies for each country (Dale and Robertson, 2009).
In the context of a globalised world and, moreover, a globalised Europe, the existence of a European education political agenda means that Member-States’ policies are affected and influenced by its guidelines (Commission of the European Communities, 2003). This is called, by many authors, Europeanisation of policies (Lawn e Lingard, 2002; Alexiadou, 2007; Dale, 2004; Dale and Robertson, 2009; Lawn, 2011; Ozga, 2012; Grek et al, 2013). This is no other than the process by which national contexts adopt policies and measures suggested or valued by international entities or neighbour countries, assuming them as their own (Ball, 2001; Winstanley 2012; Bridges 2014). It can also be called as policy borrowing (Steiner-Khamsi, 2004, Ball, 2001; Phillips and Ochs, 2003, Dale, 1999) resulting in a policy convergence (Winstanley 2012, Ball, 2001; Dale, 1999) among nations. The competition between countries, encouraged by the market-oriented approaches to education, leads each nation to try to surpass their successful neighbours (Winstanley, 2012; Auld & Morris, 2014), also leading to countries adopting comparable policies and approaches to deal with similar issues. In addition, the underlying pressure to contribute for establishing Europe as a worldwide power encourages a certain normalisation between European nations. Regarding the effects of this dynamic in education, Lawn and Lingard (2002, p. 291) state that there is an «… emphasis on managing the education policy area in Europe under globalisation, particularly within emerging world markets in education services and given global labour and economic markets».
These situations result in a European political agenda and in a national political agenda in education, which are probably, and desirably, alike in some matters. The same ideas can be transposed to school evaluation policies. Considering that school evaluation has become a trend in Europe and is part of the educational political discourses and practices of many European countries (Faubert, 2009; Eurydice, 2015), and therefore cannot be addressed lightly, it is important to explore the international education political agenda framing the processes implemented. By doing so, it is possible to understand the influence that the political agenda has in the direction followed in evaluation processes and how they affect schools, their staff and students.
Bearing in mind what is said above, this paper aims to bring to debate the influence that the European education political agenda has on school evaluation in Portugal and in England.
Alexiadou N (2007) The Europeanisation of Education Policy: Researching changing governance and ‘new’ modes of coordination. Research in Comparative and International Education 2,, 102–116. Auld, E. & Morris, P. (2014). Comparative education, the ‘New Paradigm’ and policy borrowing: constructing knowledge for educational reform. Comparative Education, 50(2), 129–155 Ball, S. (2001). Diretrizes Políticas Globais e Relações Políticas Locais em Educação. Currículo sem Fronteiras, 1(2), 99-116. Bridges, D. (2014). The ethics and politics of the international transfer of educational policy and practice. Ethics and Education, 9(1), 84-96. Commission of the European Communities. (2001). Report on The Concrete Future Objectives of Education Systems. http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:52001DC0059&from=EN. Commission of the European Communities. (2003). Communication on Investing efficiently in education and training: an imperative for Europe. http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=COM:2002:0779:FIN:EN:PDF. Dale, R. and Robertson, S. (2009). Globalisation and Europeanisation in Education. Symposium Books. Dale, R. (1999). Specifying globalization effects on national policy: A focus on the mechanisms. Journal of Education Policy, 14(1), 1–17 Dale, R. (2004). Globalização e educação: demonstrando a existência de uma “cultura educacional mundial comum” ou localizando uma “agenda globalmente estruturada para a educação”?. Educ. Soc., Campinas, 25(87), 423-460 European Commission/EACEA/Eurydice. (2015). Assuring Quality in Education: Policies and Approaches to School Evaluation in Europe. Eurydice Report, http://eacea.ec.europa.eu/education/eurydice/documents/thematic_reports/178en.pdf. Faubert, V. (2009), School Evaluation: Current Practices in OECD Countries and a Literature Review. OECD Education Working Papers, 42, OECD Publishing Sotiria Grek, et al (2013). Governing by inspection? European inspectorates and the creation of a European education policy space. Comparative Education, 49(4), 486-502 Krippendorf, K. (2003). Content Analysis: An Introduction To Its Methodology. Beverly Hills: Sage. Lawn, M. (2011). Standardizing the European Education Policy Space. European Educational Research Journal, 10(2), 259-272 Lawn, M. & Lingard B. (2002). Constructing a European Policy Space in Educational Governance: the role of transnational policy actors. European Educational Research Journal, 1(2), 290-307. Ozga, J. (2012). Governing knowledge: data, inspection and education policy in Europe. Globalisation, Societies and Education, 10(4), 439-455 Phillips, D. & Ochs, K. (2003). Processes of Policy Borrowing in Education: some explanatory and analytical devices. Comparative Education, 39(4), 451-461, Steiner-Khamsi, G. (ed). (2004). The Global Politics of Educational Borrowing and Lending. New York: Teachers College Press. Winstanley, C. (2012). Alluring Ideas: Cherry Picking Policy from Around the World. Journal of Philosophy of Education, 46(4), 516-531.
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