ERIC Number: ED338701
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1991-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
What Are Educational Indicators and Indicator Systems? ERIC/TM Digest.
Shavelson, Richard J.; And Others
Educational indicator systems are similar to indicator systems used to monitor the economy, the criminal justice system, or other social systems. Governments recognize the value of statistics that provide current information and make trend analysis and forecasts possible. Education statistics will qualify as indicators only if they serve as yardsticks; they must tell a great deal about the system by reporting the condition of a few significant features. As a heuristic guide, it is proposed that an indicator is an individual or composite statistic that relates to a basic construct in education and is useful in a policy context. An indicator system is more than a mere collection of indicators. The information provided by the system should be greater than the sum of its parts. National Indicators should monitor education outcomes and reflect characteristics of students and communities, financial and human resources, and other educational inputs. They should reflect the adequacy of the curriculum and instruction, as well as the nature of the school. Indicators must be related to each other so that their relationships and changes in their relationships can be ascertained. Indicators cannot: (1) set goals and priorities; (2) evaluate programs; and (3) develop a balance sheet for a social system. They can describe and state problems clearly, identify new problems, and give clues about promising policy approaches. Five references are listed. (SLD)
Descriptors: Educational Assessment, Educational Indicators, Educational Policy, Educational Trends, Elementary Secondary Education, Evaluation Criteria, Evaluation Methods, Heuristics, Long Range Planning, Management Information Systems, Outcomes of Education, Statistical Data, Student Characteristics, Systems Development, Trend Analysis
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; Reports - Evaluative; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Tests, Measurement, and Evaluation, Washington, DC.