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ERIC Number: EJ949183
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 43
ISSN: ISSN-0268-0939
Rethinking Assessment and Inequality: The Production of Disparities in Attainment in Early Years Education
Bradbury, Alice
Journal of Education Policy, v26 n5 p655-676 2011
Despite decades of research and debate, the issue of unequal outcomes continues to be a concern in educational systems worldwide. In England, published data relating to pupils' attainment across ethnic groups and by class indicators has been used to demonstrate continued inequalities in schools. This article attempts to deconstruct the relationship between assessment results and inequality by questioning the assumption that results only "record" inequality, rather than being implicated in its production. Interview data related to the case of a statutory teacher assessment system in early years education are used to show how assessment results may be influenced by pressure from external advisors, who only recognise certain patterns of results as intelligible. These recognisable patterns, it is argued, relate to wider discourses of class, race and the "inner city", through which the pupils in these schools are constituted as inevitably low attaining. In addition, monitoring systems based on "value added" methodologies provide an incentive to deflate assessment results in this first year of school. The article concludes that we need to rethink exactly what apparent disparities in assessment results actually represent, particularly given the increasing use of teacher assessment in the school system in England. (Contains 9 notes and 2 tables.)
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 - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)