OECD Reviews of Evaluation and Assessment in Education: Australia 2011

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This book provides, for Australia, an independent analysis of major issues facing its educational evaluation and assessment framework, current policy initiatives, and possible future approaches. It shows how student assessment, teacher appraisal, school evaluation and system evaluation can bring about real gains in performance across Australia's school system.



School education in Australia

Australia has a federal school system with primary responsibility for school education granted to state and territory governments. Student learning outcomes in Australia are very good by international standards even if there is evidence of some decline in the last decade. In 2008 a major national agenda was established with a common framework for reform in education agreed between the Australian Government and the state and territory governments through the National Education Agreement (NEA). It developed from the National Productivity Agenda agreed by the Council of Australian Governments and is supported by the Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians, which articulates future directions and aspirations for Australian schooling. The main components of the national reform agenda are the development of the Australian Curriculum, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Action Plan, the National Partnerships, the National Assessment Program and the leadership of national-level entities such as the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) and the Australian Institute of Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL). For the first time in Australia at the national level, the management of curriculum, assessment and reporting are brought together (through ACARA) and there is national leadership in the profession of teaching and school leadership (through AITSL). The NEA also brings an obligation to meet a common set of national school performance and reporting requirements. In this context, evaluation and assessment are key tools to monitor whether goals for quality and equity in education are being achieved.


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