ACER’s ongoing work in global educational monitoring is supporting educational progress for all learners, worldwide, as Ray Adams explains.
Educational monitoring at the national and international level tracks progress in the provision and quality of schooling. By identifying effective policy reforms implemented by governments, non-government organisations and multilateral agencies like the United Nations Development Programme and the World Bank, monitoring also supports improved practice in education and ultimately improved student outcomes.
ACER’s work in global educational monitoring includes the international management of the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) over its first five administrations from 2000 to 2012, the IEA’s Teacher Education and Development Study and the International Civic and Citizenship Education Study, as well as the management of Australia’s participation in PISA, the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study and the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study.
The Centre for Global Education Monitoring will consolidate and build ACER’s work in this area through the monitoring of educational outcomes worldwide, so that the systematic and strategic collection of data on educational outcomes, and factors related to those outcomes, can be used to inform policy aimed at improving educational progress for all learners.
That ongoing work is addressing five strategic priorities to:
- shape international learning goals;
- develop and maintain indicators;
- strengthen educational systems;
- monitor trends in educational growth; and
- report on and provide analysis of international educational outcomes.
It is also informing development policy, particularly in relation to the proposed Education for All Global Monitoring Report post-2015 development goals for education. Those proposed goals aim to ensure that, among other things, by 2030, all children and adolescents have equal access to, and complete their education, with that education supporting learning in terms of recognised and measurable learning outcomes, especially in literacy and numeracy; and that government spending covers education needs, and that international aid is targeted at countries and groups that need it most. Critically, ACER’s global educational monitoring work is informing the development of appropriate standards and indicators for measurement in support of the post-2015 focus on recognised and measurable learning outcomes.
ACER’s recent global educational monitoring activities have included advice on test development and development of national monitoring systems in Pakistan, Bangladesh Spain, Mexico, Colombia, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, India, Armenia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). ACER’s further work on the UAE National Assessment Program is providing information on student progress so that teachers, school and system leaders, and policy makers can make decisions regarding future directions for educational programs in the UAE.
Current global educational monitoring activities also include reviews of national assessments in Chile and Portugal, while in Afghanistan ACER is also developing assessment frameworks, assessment items, sampling procedures and analysis tools to enable education systems to monitor the educational growth of groups of students in the early and middle years of schooling and to benchmark that growth internationally.
In the Asia-Pacific region, ACER works with the Australian Aid Program to support literacy and numeracy monitoring work in the Pacific and has contributed to the work of the Learning Metrics Task Force to develop global learning metrics.