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Performance in schools is increasingly judged on the basis of effective learning outcomes. Information is critical to knowing whether the school system is delivering good performance and to providing feedback for improvement in student outcomes. The OECD has launched the Review on Evaluation and Assessment Frameworks for Improving School Outcomes to provide analysis and policy advice to countries on the following overarching policy question: “How can assessment and evaluation policies work together more effectively to improve student outcomes in primary and secondary schools?” Countries use a range of techniques for the evaluation and assessment of students, teachers, schools and education systems. Many countries test samples and/or all students at key points, and sometimes follow students over time. International assessments such as PISA provide additional information and useful external comparators. Some countries also use inspection services to evaluate teachers and/or schools and teacher evaluation is becoming more widely used. In all countries, there is widespread recognition that evaluation and assessment frameworks are key to building stronger and fairer school systems. Countries also emphasise the importance of seeing evaluation and assessment not as ends in themselves, but instead as important tools for achieving improved student outcomes. Although each country context is unique, some common policy challenges are emerging from the OECD’s Review. These can be grouped under five main headings. Governance and Implementation the common policy challenges that emerge concerning governance and implementation are: ensuring articulations within the evaluation.

Student Assessment

Several common policy challenges arise concerning student assessment: aligning educational standards and student assessment; balancing external assessments and teacherbased assessments in the assessment of learning and integrating student formative assessment in the evaluation and assessment framework.

Teacher Evaluation

Common policy challenges in teacher evaluation are: combining the improvement and accountability functions of teacher evaluation; accounting for student results in evaluation of teachers; and using teacher evaluation results to shape incentives for teachers.

School Evaluation

School evaluation presents common policy challenges concerning: aligning external evaluation of schools with internal school evaluation; providing balanced public reporting on schools and improving data handling skills of school agents

System Evaluation

Common policy challenges for evaluation of education systems are: meeting information needs at system level; monitoring key outcomes of the education system; and maximising the use of system-level information. This Issues Note covers each of these challenges in turn and presents information about the Review itself.

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