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Improvement versus control: A view from the classroom on authentic assessment and professional judgment

Fri, March 13, 9:40 to 11:10am, Washington Hilton, Floor: Concourse Level, Lincoln West


In the current drive for more and better assessments of students learning outcomes little of what is collected as data is done with a view towards systemic improvement. In fact, two parallel processes are occurring simultaneously without any connections. On the one hand, teachers in Uganda and elsewhere around the world are constantly collecting information to inform their practice and collaborative interventions with students. On the other a group of elite technocrats are pushing simple, summative tests disconnected with curriculum and practice under the assumption that countries will improve student performance by ranking and holding teachers accountable. The first is about improvement, the second about control. The first requires time and investments in teacher education and professional development to build capacity around data collection. The second requires a view of parents and students as consumers collecting and using data to make choices against a simplified view of schools.
This presentation will talk about experiences where teachers are leading to improve practice, ensure quality inputs and build linkages with communities to realize the rights and shared responsibilities for relevant education. It will draw specifically on the case of UNATU in the Quality Educators for All initiative and also speak to the need for more and better supports to create more authentic, student centered education assessments that aim at more holistic goals.