Saturday, November 30, 2013

Decontextualizing Assessment Policy: Does It Make Economic Sense?

Decontextualizing Assessment Policy
Does It Make Economic Sense? 
by Elyssa D. Durant, Ed.M.

Little discusses the three phases educational development in Africa, and questions whether reform was based on "indigenous needs of the people" or the perceived needs of the colonizers. 

She discusses the new technology being used in assessment and the economic indicators which brought about the rapid "reorientation phase" of African education chanictcri/cd by the rcftppraisul of basic questions such as, access to education, educational inputs and outputs, internal efficiency, 'fractionalization", "lack of coordination, and 'drift' in the educational sector as a whole". 

Within her discussion of policy change and implementation, little reviews the notion that international involvement provides an opportunity to bring advancements in technology and evaluate international ideas to help solve indigenous problems. 

Little also reviews Heyneman and Ransom papers, and ultimately concludes that examinations are a powerful, lowcost means of influencing the quality of teaching and learning in schools. She states that while Heyneman and Ransom give data supporting the existence of a wide gap betweur) developed countries and Third World Nations, they gave no data to support the idea that this gap is getting wider. 

Little reviews the main points Heyneman and Ransom's argumciit, but states it's weakness lies within the foundations of the argument which are based upon qiuititativu ditta frorri ; 1970's. Little questions whether Ihe same analysis can be applied; interpretation has become irrelevant, in today's world. This research concluded that attempts to change curricula failed at the implementation stage because the new Western-inspired chiingcs were inconsistent with national examinations. uses topics for further discussion

(1) Can we generalize the current data to each and every in the world?

(2) Would an external lending agency aiding the aiding the foundation of a centralized examination body in England or France make good examinations a contingency upon the the receipt of external funds?

(3) How would a banking agency revive the issue of notions of "good examination practices"?

Elyssa D. Durant © 1995-2014

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