The Impact of International Testing Projects on Policy and Practice

Authored by: Janna Teltemann , Eckhard Klieme

Handbook of Human and Social Conditions in Assessment

Print publication date:  July  2016
Online publication date:  June  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138811539
eBook ISBN: 9781315749136
Adobe ISBN: 9781317608189


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For knowledge-based economies competing with each other worldwide, the production of human capital is deemed to be an important growth factor. The growing importance of education as a means of productivity involves an increasing need for effectiveness within national education systems. Consequently, standardized international student assessments have become more frequent during the last decades and have raised considerable interest in politics, media, and academia. Prominent examples of these testing projects include the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), and the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement’s (IEA) Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) and the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS). Associated with the rise of international testing projects is a substantial change in the modes of policy making in education. The assessments are not only used to identify good and weak performers, but rather they are used as a central instrument for prescribing reforms of national education policies (Feniger & Lefstein, 2014).

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