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The Use of Student Assessment for
Policy and Learning Improvement
Education Policy and Reform Unit (EPR)
Education Policy Research Working Document No. 1

Published by UNESCO Bangkok
Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education
Mom Luang Pin Malakul Centenary Building
920 Sukhumvit Road, Prakanong, Klongtoey
Bangkok 10110, Thailand

© UNESCO 2013
All rights reserved

The designations employed and the presentation of material throughout this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of UNESCO concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.

Copy-editing: Ms Ramya Vivekanandan Rodrigues & Ms Stella Yu
Design/Layout: Alessandro Mearini

TH/DOC/EPR/13/020-E

Preface

Assessment, as the main instrument used to monitor the quality of education in education systems, is an integral part of an education system. Beyond its nominal function of checking and measuring student learning, assessment results often provide the evidence base for making improvements to policies and practices in education. But how does this actually happen? In an attempt to elicit information from countries in this regard, UNESCO’s Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education (UNESCO Bangkok) administered a survey; the analysis of the responses are presented in this report.
Given the diverse approaches to assessment systems taken by different countries and economies in the
Asia-Pacific region, the contextual factors are crucial for a meaningful study into the use of assessment for policy and learning improvements. While improvements made to policies and learning processes are

generally positively perceived, it would be naïve to overlook the side effects associated with assessments, particularly high-stake examinations. This report does not neglect this aspect of assessments, but also looks into how various



References: Bryk, A. and Raudenbush, S. 1992. Hierarchical Linear Models. Thousand Oaks, Sage Publications. Corbett, H.D. and Wilson, B. 1988. Raising the stakes in statewide mandatory minimum competency testing. W. L. Boyd and C. T. Kerchner (Eds.), The politics of excellence and choice in education: The 1987 politics of education association yearbook Goldstein, H. 1995. Multilevel Statistical Models. West Sussex, A John Wiley and Sons. Ho, E.S. 2012. Student Learning Assessment. Volume 5, Asia-Pacific Education System Review Series. Bangkok/Hong Kong: UNESCO Bangkok and Hong Kong Institute of Educational Research. Kellaghan, et al., 2009. Using the result of national assessment of educational achievement. The World Bank. Washington DC. Kirby et al., 2000. Ministrerial Review of Post Compulsory Education and Training Pathways in Voctoria. The state of Victoria. The Communication Division Department of Education Employment and Training Victoria. Kreft, I. G. G. and de Leeuw, J. 1998. Introducing Multilevel Modeling, London, Sage Publications. Kreft, I. G. G,, de Leeuw, J. and van der Leeden, R. 1994 A review of five multilevel analysis programs: BMDP-5V, GENMOD, HLM, ML3, VARCL. American Statiscian, pp. 324-335. Longford, N. T. 1994. Random Coefficient Models. Oxford, Oxford University Press. OECD. 2011. School autonomy and accountability: Are they related to student performance? OECD Programme for International Student Assessment. http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/17/43/48910490.pdf (Accessed 11 June, 2012) OECD http://www.pisa.oecd.org/pages/0,3417,en_32252351_32236130_1_1_1_1_1,00.html (Accessed 6 December, 2011). Smith, M.L., Edelsky, C., Draper, K., Rottenberg, C., and Cherland, M. 1991. The role of testing in elementary schools. Tempe, AZ., Arizona State University, UCLA Center for Research on Evaluation Standards and Student Testing. Snijders, T. A. B. and Bosker, R. J. 1999. Multilevel Analysis: An Introduction to Basic and Advanced Multilevel Modeling, Thousand Oaks, Sage Publications Stodolsky, S.S UNESCO. 2011. Systematic monitoring of Education for All; Training Modules for Asia-Pacific. Bangkok, UNESCO. Wagner, D.A. 2011. Smaller, Quicker, Cheaper: Improving Learning Assessments for Developing Countries. Paris: UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning. Wolf de, I.F. and Janssens, F.J.G. 2007. Effects and side effects of inspections and accountability in education: an overview of empirical studies. Oxford Review of Education, Vol

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