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Standard Setting in Education: National Tests in Norway: An Undeclared Standard in Education? Practical and Political Implications of Norm-Referenced Standards

Standard Setting in Education: National Tests in Norway: An Undeclared Standard in Education?... [Educational standards were not the official object of national tests, when they were introduced as a tool for quality assessment in Norwegian schools in 2004. As the national curriculum relies on teachers’ professional judgement for setting criteria for student learning, there are no direct links between the standardised tests and the managerial and pedagogical employment of the norm- referenced test results. In this study, we investigate how municipalities and teachers conceptualise and utilise results from national tests. We find that whereas school owners simply set future results from national tests to be above the national mean, many teachers either disregard or do not seem to comprehend the relationship between the norm-referenced test results and the national curriculum. Consequently, teachers seem to under-exploit test results for student learning development, while school owners seem to over-exploit the same results, as the national norm-based mean demonstrates that there is little variance at a local level, nor does it provide explanatory power. Results and teaching have never been linked to through ​authors’ explanation: teaching in Norway has of course been linked to curriculum aims. Our point is that results from national tests have not been “fed back” to teaching linked to these curricular aims. Results and teaching have never been linked through set curricular aims, which is partly a political process. Instead, national tests emerge as an undeclared standard in Norwegian education, causing ambiguous political demands and signs of professional frustration.] http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png

Standard Setting in Education: National Tests in Norway: An Undeclared Standard in Education? Practical and Political Implications of Norm-Referenced Standards

Springer Journals — Feb 28, 2017

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Abstract

[Educational standards were not the official object of national tests, when they were introduced as a tool for quality assessment in Norwegian schools in 2004. As the national curriculum relies on teachers’ professional judgement for setting criteria for student learning, there are no direct links between the standardised tests and the managerial and pedagogical employment of the norm- referenced test results. In this study, we investigate how municipalities and teachers conceptualise and utilise results from national tests. We find that whereas school owners simply set future results from national tests to be above the national mean, many teachers either disregard or do not seem to comprehend the relationship between the norm-referenced test results and the national curriculum. Consequently, teachers seem to under-exploit test results for student learning development, while school owners seem to over-exploit the same results, as the national norm-based mean demonstrates that there is little variance at a local level, nor does it provide explanatory power. Results and teaching have never been linked to through ​authors’ explanation: teaching in Norway has of course been linked to curriculum aims. Our point is that results from national tests have not been “fed back” to teaching linked to these curricular aims. Results and teaching have never been linked through set curricular aims, which is partly a political process. Instead, national tests emerge as an undeclared standard in Norwegian education, causing ambiguous political demands and signs of professional frustration.]

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