OECD Reviews of Evaluation and Assessment in Education: Portugal 2012

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This book provides, from an international perspective, an independent analysis of major issues facing the educational evaluation and assessment framework, current policy initiatives, and possible future approaches in Portugal.


Education system evaluation

A range of tools are used to monitor performance of the education system. Information on student learning outcomes is collected from educational progress national tests in Grade 4 and from national examinations in Grades 6 and 9 and in secondary education. The monitoring system also includes a range of statistics on education based on snapshot data collected from schools on a standardised format. These are the basis for annual publications with system-level indicators on education. Also, international benchmarks of student performance provided by international student surveys such as PISA have been influential in driving policy development at the system level. In addition, there has been a growing interest in undertaking studies of the impact of policy initiatives and in preparing thematic reports which can inform policy development. Particularly positive features of system evaluation include the well-established education indicators framework; the new concern for framing system evaluation in relation to educational targets; the existence of student performance data; and the qualitative analysis undertaken in thematic reports. However, system evaluation is faced with a number of challenges. These include the little emphasis on the evaluation of the education system; the lack of measures on students’ socio-economic background; the little emphasis on investigating differences of student outcomes across specific groups; the limited information on the teaching and learning environment; and the room to better exploit system-level information.


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