4. National and International Learning Assessment
Assessments of learning outcomes are vital tools for governments to evaluate the effectiveness of their own education systems, to guide reforms of education quality and to compare the achievements local youth to those in neighboring countries. They are especially important in today’s policy climate where local, national and international education stakeholders are increasingly calling upon governments to demonstrate results and outcomes, as opposed to inputs, such as activities, programs and reforms. The aim of this session is to present the benefits of assessments, to clarify the linkages between international and national learning assessments and effective outcome-based education management and to emphasize their importance. The session will focus on policy recommendations that respond to trends in learning achievement found in an analysis of the most recent Programme for International Student Assessment (2006) in an effort to demonstrate the value of these assessments and then translate the uses of these findings to develop an argument for education sector reforms, including the development of national learning assessments.