OECD Reviews of Evaluation and Assessment in Education

English
ISSN: 
2223-0955 (online)
ISSN: 
2223-0947 (print)
DOI: 
10.1787/22230955
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How can assessment and evaluation policies work together more effectively to improve student outcomes in primary and secondary schools? The country reports in this series analyse major issues facing evaluation and assessment policy to identify improvements that can be made to enhance the quality, equity and efficiency of school education.

 
Romania 2017

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English
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    http://oecd.metastore.ingenta.com/content/9117041e.pdf
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Author(s):
Hannah Kitchen, Elizabeth Fordham, Kirsteen Henderson, Anne Looney, Soumaya Maghnouj
03 May 2017
Pages:
240
ISBN:
9789264274051 (PDF) ;9789264274044(print)
DOI: 
10.1787/9789264274051-en

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Romania’s education system has made impressive strides over the past two decades, with an increasing share of students mastering the basic competencies that they need for life and work. But these average improvements mask significant disparities in learning outcomes and attainment, with an increasing share of students leaving education early without basic skills. This review, developed in cooperation with UNICEF, provides Romania with recommendations to help strengthen its evaluation and assessment system, by reducing the weight of high stake examinations and creating more space for the formative discussions and feedback that are integral to improving learning and teaching. It will be of interest to Romania, as well as other countries looking to make more effective use of their evaluation and assessment system to improve quality and equity, and result in better outcomes for all students.

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  • Foreword and acknowledgements

    Romania’s education system has made significant improvements in recent decades, not least in terms of student learning outcomes and strengthening institutional capacity. These improvements make Romania a regional leader. They also provide the foundations to further improve quality and equity, so that all young Romanians have the chance to reach their full potential and realise their aspirations.

  • Acronyms and abbreviations
  • Executive summary

    Romania’s education system has made significant progress in recent decades, strengthening institutions and improving students’ learning outcomes. Although it enables some of its students to excel, many more are not mastering basic competencies and nearly one-fifth leave school before completing upper secondary education. Creating an education system where all students access quality education and are supported to do their best will raise attainment and improve learning, supporting individual well-being and national growth.

  • Assessment and recommendations

    Romania is one of the fastest growing economies in the European Union (EU), but also one of the most unequal. Romania’s growth in gross domestic product (GDP) has been consistently higher than the EU average over the last decade, unemployment is low, and investment and productivity are on the rise. However, large parts of the population, especially in rural areas, risk being left behind in the country’s rapid transformation. One in four Romanians – and one in two Romanian children – is on the verge of poverty, with an income below the national threshold for an adequate standard of living. The income gap between the richest and poorest citizens is the highest in the EU. Developing a more inclusive economy is not only a matter of fairness, but will be essential to sustain national growth and competitiveness.

  • The Romanian education system

    Romania’s education system has made major advances since 1989. Learning outcomes have improved and it has established modern institutions with technical expertise. However, educational attainment and performance continues to be strongly influenced by a student’s background, and learning levels remain low for many. This reflects systemic challenges of low funding, unstable governance and early selection on the basis of highstakes tests, putting students into different educational tracks of uneven quality. Placing student learning at the centre of Romania’s evaluation and assessment processes can help to focus the system onto raising standards for all.

  • Student assessment in Romania: Putting learning at the centre

    This chapter looks at how Romania’s assessment system measures and shapes student learning. Assessment in Romania is characterised by a strong focus on external testing, which limits the space for teachers’ professional judgement and student feedback that are essential for learning. Romania can rebalance its assessment system by strengthening learning standards so that they support classroom and external assessment to be aligned with the new curriculum. It will also be critical to invest in teachers’ assessment literacy, and give them room to exercise it. The high stakes attached to external examinations makes it essential to improve their quality to create a fairer basis for selection and encourage broader learning across the curriculum. Achieving these changes will require increasing the resources available for assessment and examination design and support.

  • Teacher appraisal in Romania: Ensuring appraisal supports teachers' professional development

    This chapter looks at how Romania evaluates teaching practice and supports teachers to improve through its teacher appraisal system. Romania uses a combination of appraisal types but their developmental function is limited, reducing support for teacher growth. Developing professional teacher standards would help to ensure that all teachers are appraised according to common criteria for effective teaching. Teachers’ development would be better supported if their regular appraisals carried reduced stakes for their career and pay, and included more formative practices such as open discussion and feedback. To ensure that only motivated candidates with the right attributes enter the teaching profession, the appraisals to complete probation should enforce a minimum threshold for entry, while providing new teachers with the support they need to grow professionally. Finally, reviewing the system of linking appraisals to salary bonuses and creating differentiated career paths for teachers which fairly reward those taking on new roles and responsibilities will help to encourage teachers to develop their skills throughout their career.

  • School evaluation in Romania: From compliance to school improvement

    In most countries, school evaluation is associated with accountability and improvement. However, in Romania, it is heavily weighted towards external accountability and compliance. This chapter sets out how school evaluation can be re-balanced to support school improvement. First, Romania needs a coherent system for school evaluation, with a single primary external evaluator and a single set of criteria for evaluations. Second, external evaluations should result in detailed feedback and follow-up support that schools can use to lead improvements. Third, school self-evaluation needs to be reinforced and given greater prominence so that it is seen as a useful improvement tool and not a compliance check. Finally, school leaders need to be supported to become pedagogical leaders so that they can lead improvements to teaching and learning in their schools.

  • System evaluation in Romania: Using information for system improvement

    This chapter looks at how Romania uses information about the education system to monitor its performance and inform policy making. While it does have many of the components of system evaluation in place, it lacks a coherent national strategy to draw on this information effectively. This chapter suggests that the “Educated Romania” initiative could help to address this by creating a national education strategy underpinned by indicators to monitor progress. The absence of standardised data on student outcomes and the contextual information that might shape learning weakens system evaluation in Romania; the Grade 4 national assessment could be revised to address these gaps. Finally, educational improvement hinges on feedback; making information more accessible at the local and school levels will help them to make better use of data to lead improvement.

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