28 SES 13 B 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 contined from 28 SES 12 C JS
Test-Based Accountability has become a global norm in different educational settings and countries with divergent institutional traditions (Thrupp, 2018; Volante, 2018; Smith, 2016; Lingard et al., 2016). This presentation aims to address how this global trend is being adopted and re-contextualized in the case of Spain, with a specific focus on Madrid. The main objectives of the research are: (1) tracing the policy trajectory of the accountability reforms in Spain and Madrid from a multi-scalar perspective, (2) identifying the assumptions and expectations of the reform and its related policy ontology, or in other words, elucidate the theory of change beyond the reform, and (3) analyse the rationalities and motivations among different policy actors involved in the reform process. To address these issues, the paper is informed by two main perspectives of policy formation processes – the Cultural Political Economy (CPE) approach as advanced by Jessop (2010) and Kingdon’s Multiple Streams Framework (MSF) (1984). The CPE approach aims to understand how the ideational and material factors are interrelated in the conformation of specific institutional change in the cultural, political and economic domains through the evolutionary mechanisms of variation, selection and retention. The MSF, in turn, provides an analytical perspective on how different streams of the policy process are coupled to configure a given reform through the definition of the problems to be addressed, the policy solutions available and privileged and the opportunities and constrictions given by the political context. Methodologically speaking, we use a Network Ethnography approach (Ball et al., 2017; Ball, 2016) to analyse how different policy actors are interrelated in a social network of relations and interactions around the configuration of the reform through an ensemble of events, processes and actors. The research relies primarily on 23 in-depth interviews with educational actors, policy makers and experts in the regional and national scale, complemented with a document analysis of policy briefings and grey literature. The analysis shows multi-scalar dynamics between the regional and the national levels. National reforms allowed the development of the TBA regional model adopted in Madrid. This particular model, in turn, was framed and used in an experimental way to inform national-level policy. The results also reveal some continuities between a market-oriented accountability model and the intensification of education privatization – since tests results are used in combination with pro-school choice policies as a means to improve school quality through increased competition.
Ball, S.J. (2016). Following policy: Networks, network ethnography and education policy mobilities. Journal of Education Policy, 31(5), 549-566. Ball, S.J., Junemann, C. & Santori, D. (2017). Edu.net. Globalisation and education policy mobility. New York: Routledge. Jessop, B. (2010). Cultural political economy and critical policy studies. Critical Policy Studies, 3(3–4), 336–356. Kingdom, J. W. (1984). Agendas, alternatives, and public policies. Boston: Little Brown. Lingard, B., Martino, W., Rezai-Rashti, G., & Sellar, S. (2016). Globalizing Educational Accountabilities. New York: Routledge. Smith, W. C. (Ed.) (2016). The global testing culture: Shaping education policy, perceptions, and practice. London: Oxford Studies in Comparative Education Series, Symposium Books. Thrupp, M. (2018). The search for better educational standards. A Cautionary Tale. Switzerland: Springer. Volante, L. (2018). The PISA effect on Global Educational Governance. New York: Routledge.
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