This report for Luxembourg forms part of the OECD Review on Evaluation and Assessment Frameworks for Improving School Outcomes (see Annex A for further details). The purpose of the Review is to explore how systems of evaluation and assessment can be used to improve the quality, equity and efficiency of school education. The Review looks at the various components of assessment and evaluation frameworks that countries use with the objective of improving student outcomes. These include student assessment, teacher appraisal, school evaluation and system evaluation.
Acronyms and abbreviations
A central drive of recent educational policy making in Luxembourg has been to develop evaluation instruments to strengthen the focus on student performance and progress in classrooms, schools and at the policy-making level within the Ministry of National Education and Vocational Training (MENFP). This has come alongside an increased degree of autonomy for schools, although the school system remains highly centralised with the MENFP responsible for the planning and administration of all teaching in public schools. The MENFP directly appoints a school leader (directeur) in public secondary schools, but each fundamental school is under the authority of a local education authority inspecteur, who in the absence of a permanent school leader, monitors fundamental school compliance to laws and regulations and reports back to the MENFP. Typically at age 11, children are assessed primarily on their ability in German, French and mathematics and selected to attend either general secondary education (ES) or technical education (EST).
School education in Luxembourg
The chapter presents the main features of schooling in Luxembourg, including the structure of the school system and how students advance through it, the key role of languages and responsibilities within the school system. It also examines evidence on the quality and equity of Luxembourgish schools and considers major policy developments impacting the school system.
The evaluation and assessment framework
This chapter presents a succinct overview of the major components of evaluation and assessment in Luxembourg (student assessment, teacher appraisal, school evaluation and education system evaluation) and examines to what extent these form part of a coherent framework and how these different components work together. It presents an analysis of the current strengths and challenges and a set of recommendations to build on and consolidate current efforts in designing and completing a coherent evaluation and assessment framework.
Since 2009, Luxembourg has strengthened focus on the importance of student assessment by legally defining both formative assessment (assessment for learning) and summative assessment (assessment of student learning), introducing centrally defined minimum competency levels to be achieved by students and requiring teachers to document students’ learning progress. These reforms have mainly impacted fundamental schooling, but also secondary schooling. The chapter presents an overview of national assessments and describes the role that student assessment plays in student progression through the school system. Based on an analysis of strengths and challenges in the current approach, the chapter presents a set of recommendations to further develop student assessment in Luxembourg’s schools, including building teachers’ capacity to use assessment results to improve student learning and making summative assessment procedures more equitable.
Teacher appraisal is the least developed component within the Luxembourgish evaluation and assessment framework. At present there is no way of knowing the quality of pedagogy in Luxembourg since the effectiveness of classroom practice is not appraised. The chapter presents main features of the teaching profession in Luxembourg, as well as an overview of current teacher appraisal procedures, those responsible for teacher appraisal and how the results of teacher appraisal are used. Based on an analysis of strengths and challenges in the current approach, the chapter presents a set of recommendations to develop a system for teacher appraisal in Luxembourg aiming to provide feedback for improvement and to reward effective teaching.
The evaluation of individual schools constitutes a key element of the evaluation and assessment framework in Luxembourg. The focus lies on school self-evaluation and strong national requirements and support have been put in place in recent years to drive this, particularly in fundamental schools. A number of initiatives have been taken that have the potential of contributing to a strong improvement-oriented school evaluation in which local decision making in schools is enhanced. Based on an analysis of strengths and challenges in the current approach to school evaluation, the chapter presents a set of recommendations to further develop and strengthen the evaluation in and of Luxembourg’s schools, including the introduction of an external school evaluation mechanism.
Education system evaluation
Over recent years, Luxembourg has made concerted efforts to prioritise the evaluation of the education system. Notably, Luxembourg has started to build evaluation capacity at the national level and has introduced a monitoring system. The chapter presents an overview of the major tools used to monitor the education system and approaches to evaluate the implementation of new initiatives within the system, plus reporting systems to feed back results from education system evaluation. Based on an analysis of strengths and challenges in the current approach to education system evaluation, the chapter presents a set of recommendations to validate and further develop the monitoring system, to improve reporting of system-level information and to further build education system evaluation capacity.
Conclusions and recommendations
Schooling in Luxembourg is highly centralised with the Ministry of National Education and Vocational Training (MENFP) responsible for the planning and administration of all teaching in public schools. However, over recent years there has been a stronger role for schools in implementing evaluation and assessment policies, notably with the increased emphasis placed on school self-evaluation. The vast majority of students attends public schools and follows the national student learning objectives towards nationally recognised qualifications.
The OECD Review on Evaluation and Assessment Frameworks for Improving School Outcomes
The OECD Review on Evaluation and Assessment Frameworks for Improving School Outcomes is designed to respond to the strong interest in evaluation and assessment issues evident at national and international levels. It provides a description of design, implementation and use of assessment and evaluation procedures in countries; analyses strengths and weaknesses of different approaches; and provides recommendations for improvement. The Review looks at the various components of assessment and evaluation frameworks that countries use with the objective of improving student outcomes. These include student assessment, teacher appraisal, school evaluation and system evaluation. The Review focuses on primary and secondary education.
Composition of the review team
Comparative indicators on evaluation and assessment
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