A main focus of recent educational reform projects which is particularly promoted by the OECD PISA study and the “New Public Management Paradigm” is the use of regular assessment and test-based accountability measures in schools and education systems. Assessments and accountability are exceptionally prone to educational reform, as they are relatively inexpensive and can be externally mandated. Thus, if PISA and similar testing projects would have the potential to influence national education policies, we should be able to observe this impact particularly in the area of accountability and assessment practices. However, systematic empirical evidence on changes in the prevalence and purposes of assessments is scarce. In this paper, we describe national evaluation and monitoring systems in education and their change in implementation over time. Particularly, we aim to assess, whether there are changes in the levels and purposes of accountability.
Our analyses include all items focusing on assessment and accountability practices (collected with the school questionnaires) from PISA 2000 onwards to the most recent PISA 2015 database. We limit our analyses to OECD countries since most of them participated in every PISA data collection. Based on the availabe items, we generate indicators of evaluation and monitoring systems of the respective countries by aggregating the data at the country level, and group them according to theoretical considerations. Thereby, we show how the development of evaluation systems over time can be analyzed with data from several PISA waves.
Our findings show that of 22 indicators which have been measured at least two times, 21 show a trend of decreasing heterogeneity across countries, as the (relative) standard deviations decreased. As regards to the average prevalence, all but two indicators show increasing values. Thus, there is a clear trend of increased assessment, evaluation and accountability – and less variation across OECD countries. Link zur Homepage