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ERIC Number: EJ907442
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jan
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 5
ISSN: ISSN-0305-7925
Strengthening Educational Quality in Developing Countries: The Role of National Examinations and International Assessment Systems
Somerset, Anthony
Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, v41 n1 p141-144 Jan 2011
Educational practitioners rely predominantly on measures of outcome, rather than of inputs or process, in making judgements as to quality. Outcome measures are available from two main sources: (1) the relatively new international assessment systems; and (2) the traditional national examinations systems. The two types of system differ in their geographic scope. Examination systems, by and large, function within the boundaries of a single state, whereas the assessment systems are international in scope--and are, indeed, used predominantly to make international comparisons. This article considers three other key respects where examination and assessment systems differ: (1) international assessment systems focus on a relatively narrow range of curriculum domains; (2) questions employed in international assessment instruments are generally of much higher quality than those typically used in national examinations; and (3) there is varied significance for different groups of stakeholders between international assessment and national examination systems. Since it is the national examinations, rather than the international assessment studies that classroom teachers respond to when choosing which topics and skills to stress during their lessons, additional resources devoted to the strengthening of the quality of national examination systems in low-income countries would bring substantial benefits. (Contains 3 notes.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A