23 SES 06 A, School Evaluation. Quality and Development.
During recent years many education systems have attempted to modernize their governance by establishing some variety of an “evidence-based governance regime”. They are meant to regulate the operation of the system and its continuous improvement by virtue of following features (see Altrichter and Maag Merki 2010):
(i) They set expectations for the performance of the education system and communicate them more clearly than before.
(ii) Evaluation and accountability are considered to be key issues in ensuring quality provision for all. Evaluation measures are to produce evidence as to whether or not expectations have been met by the practical operation of the system units.
(iii) “Evidence” will stimulate and orientate system development. Actors on all levels of the system – education politicians, administrators, schools leader, teachers, students etc. – will use evaluation information to make more rational choices in developing their contribution to the education system and to improving their performance.
In Europe, “evidence-based governance systems” are built on two dominant arrangements which often exist side by side. The first one includes school inspections (see Ehren et al. 2013). Inspectorates of Education set expectations by virtue of their inspection standards and procedures. They assess the quality of education by using existing data (e.g. statistics, data on student performance) and by collecting additional information (e.g. by interviews with stakeholders, classroom observation). As a consequence they produce reports which hold schools accountable for a broad range of goals related to student achievement, teaching, organization and leadership.
The other arrangement for educational accountability is built on performance standards (which set expectations) and tests of student performance (which produce evidence of system performance; Maag Merki 2010; Morris 2011). Student achievement results on national standardized tests are fed back to all levels of the education system in order to promote improvement (Visscher & Coe 2003; Ingram, Louis & Schroeder 2004; Coburn & Turner 2011).
In Austria, a policy of performance standards has been introduced since 2008. In 2012 national standard testing for secondary students has been administered for the first time and performance results have been fed back to schools (i.e. to students, teachers, parents, and administrators; see Altrichter & Kanape-Willingshofer 2012). Therefore the focused research questions of the proposed paper are: In what way (if at all) are performance standards and performance feedback taken up by schools and used as stimuli and orientation for classroom and school development?
The theoretical perspective is made up by the idea of “re-contextualization” in multi-level governance systems (as formulated by Fend (2006, pp. 174ff) and the policy enactment approach by Ball et al. (2012)). They call for a closer analysis and interpretation of the processes by which policy innovations are communicated and “re-contextualized” at the various levels of a multi-level system and by which schools and teachers take up policy innovations and translate it into action and structures on school and classroom level.
Altrichter, H. & Maag Merki, K. (2010). Steuerung der Entwicklung des Schulwesens. In H. Altrichter & K. Maag Merki (Hrsg.), Handbuch Neue Steuerung im Schulsystem (S. 15-39). Wiesbaden: VS. Altrichter, H. & Kanape-Willingshofer, A. (2012). Bildungsstandards und externe Überprüfung von Schülerkompetenzen: Mögliche Beiträge externer Messungen zur Erreichung der Qualitätsziele der Schule. In B. Herzog-Punzenberger (Hrsg.), Nationaler Bildungsbericht 2012 (S. 22-61). Leykam: Graz. Asbrand, B., Heller, N. & Zeitler, S. (2012). Die Arbeit mit Bildungsstandards in Fachkonferenzen. Ergebnisse aus der Evaluation des KMK-Projekts for.mat. Die Deutsche Schule 104(1), 31-43. Ball, S.J., Maguire, M., & Braun, A. (2012). How Schools do Policy. Policy enactments in secondary schools. London: Routledge. Coburn, C. E. & Turner, E. O. (2011). Research on Data Use: A Framework and Analysis. Measurement: Interdisciplinary Research and Perspectives, 9(4), 173-206. Ehren, M.C.M., Altrichter, H., McNamara, G. & O’Hara, J. (2013). Impact of school inspections on teaching and learning – describing assumptions on causal mechanisms in seven European countries. Educational Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability 25, DOI 10.1007/s11092-012-9156 Fend, H. (2006)., Neue Theorie der Schule. Einführung in das Verstehen von Bildungssystemen. Wiesbaden: VS. Ingram, D., Louis, K.S. & Schroeder, R.G. (2004). Accountability Policies and Teacher Decision Making: Barriers to the Use of Data to Improve Practice. Teachers College Record 106, 6, 1258-1287. Maag Merki, K. (2010). Theoretische und empirische Analysen der Effektivität von Bildungsstandards, standardbezogenen Lernstandserhebungen und zentralen Abschlussprüfungen. In H. Altrichter & K. Maag Merki (Hrsg.), Handbuch Neue Steuerung im Schulsystem (S. 145-169). Wiesbaden: VS. Morris, A. (2011). Student standardised testing: Current practices in OECD countries and a literature review, OECD Education Working Papers, No. 65, OECD Publishing. Download: 30.8.2012 http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/5kg3rp9qbnr6-en Visscher, A.J., & Coe, R. (2003). School performance feedback systems: Conceptualisation, Analysis and Reflection. School Effectiveness and School Improvement, 14(3), 321-349.
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.