Policy Evidence by Design: International Large-Scale Assessments and Grade Repetition

This article by doctoral student Manuel Cardoso, which was published in “Comparative Education Review” (Volume 64, Number 4), addresses the links between international large-scale assessment (ILSA) methodologies, international organizations (IO) ideologies, and education policies. Within the framework of statistical constructivism, this article describes two interrelated phenomena. First, OECD/PISA and UNESCO/TERCE documents show how IO's ideologies shape the design of the ILSAs they support.  Second, quantitative analyses for four Latin American countries in the three assessment domains of reading, science and mathematics show that differently designed ILSAs disagree on the effectiveness of one specific policy, namely grade retention. ILSA designs, influenced by IO´s ideologies, yield different data, which may inspire divergent global policy directives and national decisions.

 

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