Evidence of q uality and e quity in e ducation
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Evidence of Q uality and E quity in  E ducation. Péter Radó Belgrade, 06.12.2011. A sample evidence 1. A sample evidence 2. A sample evidence 3. A sample evidence 4. A few questions: ( Assuming that these data are available ).

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Evidence of Q uality and E quity in  E ducation

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Evidence of Quality and Equity in Education

Péter Radó

Belgrade, 06.12.2011.


A sample evidence 1.


A sample evidence 2.


A sample evidence 3.


A sample evidence 4.


A few questions:(Assuming that these data are available )

  • Is there a demand for these data among the key players of education?

  • Do you have access to the information allowing the interpretation of these data? What would it tell about the quality of educational services?

  • Do you have the capacity to transform the conclusions drawn from these data to actual design of policies and implementation strategies?

  • Can you imagine a minister of education explaining this statistical analysis in a 30 seconds TV interview?

  • Can you imagine convincing middle class parents about mixing their children with disadvantaged children on the basis of this analysis?

  • Can you imagine convincing teachers about forming heterogeneous classrooms instead of forming easily taught homogeneous classrooms?

  • Can you imagine municipalities reorganizing their local school systems in order to ensure equal distribution of disadvantaged students on the basis of this analysis?


Questions emerging from the questions

  • What can generate demand for evidence?

  • How to produce evidence?

  • How to determine quality and equity relevant evidence needs?

  • How to ensure the interpretation of evidence?

  • What are the traps to be avoided?

  • What is the best use of evidence?(Influencing the quality of the policy discourse.)


Generating demand for evidence

From dumb centralization to intelligent post-bureaucratic governance


Generating demand for evidence: governance and management

Making education a complex adaptive system by:

  • making schools autonomous learning organizations accountable for the quality of their services and the equity of their outcomes,

  • decentralization, deregulation, procedural regulation,

  • mandatory multilevel short- and medium term planning,

  • Intelligent professional accountability systems with strong focus on educational outcomes produced by whole schools,

  • ensuring the openness of decision making at all levels.


Generating demand for evidence: policy-making

The normative approach to EBPM ↔ the very contextual nature of quality and equity→

„Intelligent policy making”

Learning by open deliberation: enrichment of reasoning with the tacit and practical knowledge of practitioners + evidence informing the actors of the policy discourse


Information production in education 1.

Quality evaluation embedded to a performanace management system

  • Connecting goals/targets with quality evaluation instruments

  • Student performance assessment informing (external and internal) school evaluation

  • Connecting the pillars of by quality evaluation by an integrated indicator/reporting system

  • Strengthening accountability by intervention on the basis of quality evaluation information

  • Balancing accountability and organisational learning in schools


Information production in education 2.

The only reliable measure of strengths and weaknesses is international comparison.

→ Enabling information systems for international referencing (EU OMC indicators and benchmark, OECD „Education at a glance” indicators, participation in international student achievement surveys, connecting internal and international assessment systems, etc.)

→ Ensuring the contextual relevance of international comparative information by further analysis and comparative research (See: European educational performance patterns)


Determining quality and equity related information needs

Connecting the results of meta-evaluation with the instruments of quality evaluation


Interpretation: research and communication

  • Research for deeper understanding: e.g. what makes heterogeneous schools more capable to compensate for disadvantages?

  • Typical problem: research substituting information production versus research for the interpretation of information produced on a regular basis.

  • Communication: transforming evidence to clear policy messages. → „Simplexity” (Ora Ito) E.g. „Children in schools with heterogeneous intake develop better.”


A few possible traps

  • The trap of measurement: what we measure becomes a problem, what we don’t measure remains invisible and ignored

  • „Economism”: considering the indicator equal with the indicated fact, policies aiming at „improving indicators” instead of solving problems

  • Growing complexity → the fear of loosing control → escaping from complexity by maintaining (or returning to) centralization created simplicity

  • Striving for the „optimum” instead of striving for the „possible” (ignoring power, influence, prejudice, whim, etc. by focusing only on evidence)

  • Evidence as legitimacy substitute


Finally…What determines the quality of the policy discourse:the technology and references of policy-making

What has changed in Hungary between 2010 May and July? Politics, nothing else.


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