23 SES 13 A JS, Globalizing Test-Based Accountabilities in Education: Policy transfer and re-contextualization dynamics Part 2: Perspectives from Europe
Joint Symposium NW 23 and NW 28 continued from 23 SES 12 A JS
In education reform packages, both test-based accountability and school autonomy are often perceived as inseparable. That is, schools will be subjected to increasing supervision and control via accountability measures, in return for greater authority over organizational and pedagogical decisions (e.g. Bracci, 2009; Keddie, 2015). Regardless of an inconclusive and even contradictory evidence-base on the implementation and impact of School Autonomy with Accountability (SAWA) policies, an increasing number of highly diverse countries have adopted SAWA (Verger & Parcerisa, 2017). This study focuses on the Norwegian school system, where the adoption of standardized testing and accountability instruments represents a disruptive transformation within educational institutions and school governance (Møller & Skedsmo, 2013; Hall et al., 2015; Skedsmo & Møller, 2016). In this article, we analyse how, why, and under what conditions SAWA reform elements have been adopted and re-contextualized in Norway. More specifically, we examine the rationale behind the adoption of SAWA, its theory of change, the positions and strategies of governmental actors, policy entrepreneurs and other key stakeholders, and the influence of a changing political and economic environment. The analysis is based on 38 interviews with government officials, policy makers, members of government advisory committees, union leaders, test developers, and academics, which were conducted between September 2017 and February 2018, as well as document analysis of four key White Papers, parliamentary debates, press releases, and legal documents. Using Atlas.ti software, all interview transcripts and secondary documents were analysed and coded combining inductive and deductive approaches. This article finds that since the turn of the millennium SAWA reforms have been adopted under the frame of providing solutions to problematic PISA-findings, limited knowledge of results, concerns about reducing disparities in educational outcomes, and over-regulation by central authorities, thereby masking the need of central authorities for a new way of steering in the wake of a legitimacy crisis. While the central premise that underlies SAWA reforms world-wide has become accepted beyond political disagreements in Norway, a clear Norwegian touch is given to its format. At the same time, recognizing that SAWA reforms are not ‘static’ but rather continuously in development, the current attention for rising claims of teachers that their pedagogical autonomy has been undermined and jeopardized as a result of other SAWA reform elements, such as the municipal quality assessment system that monitors and follows up school results, is likely to influence the future format of SAWA in Norway.
Bracci, E. (2009). Autonomy, responsibility and accountability in the Italian school system. Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 20(3), 293–312. Hall, D., Grimaldi, E., Gunter, H., Møller, J., Serpieri, R., & Skedsmo, G. (2015). Educational Reform and Modernisation in Europe: The Role of National Contexts in Mediating the New Public Management. European Educational Research Journal, 14(6), 487-507. Keddie, A. (2015). School autonomy, accountability and collaboration: a critical review. Journal of Educational Administration and History, 47(1), 1-17. Møller, J., & Skedsmo, G. (2013). Modernizing education - NPM reform in the Norwegian education system. Journal of Educational Administration & History, 45(4), 336-353. Skedsmo, G., & Møller, J. (2016). Governing by new performance expectations in Norwegian Schools. In H. Gunter, E. Grimaldi, D. Hall & R. Serpieri (Eds.) NPM and educational reform in Europe (pp. 53-65). London: Routledge. Verger, A. & Parcerisa, L. (2017). Accountability and education in the post-2015 period: International trends, enactment dynamics and socio-educational effects. Think piece for the UNESCO GEMR 2017. Paris: UNESCO.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
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Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
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