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Use of learning assessment data and the political economy of actors: Lessons from Latin America

Thu, April 18, 3:15 to 4:45pm, Hyatt Regency, Floor: Street (Level 0), Regency B

Proposal

A number of Latin America countries have recently implemented new assessment systems. There is a strong discourse on the importance of assessment data and its use at different levels of the education systems. Nevertheless, there is little documentation on whether this has been achieved in practice and there is a strong need to evaluate the impact of assessment reforms. This panel presentation will share the first insights from pilot studies conducted in a number of Latin America countries in the framework of an international study on the use of learning assessment data.

The presentation will address similar questions to the one on Sub-Saharan Africa to allow for a cross-national comparison:

• How do countries use learning assessment data in policy and planning?
• What factors lead to the observed use of learning data? How does the interaction of actors and an institutional setting influence the latter?
• What is the influence of international frameworks when it comes to the use of learning data?
• What role does media play in the use of learning data in the region?
• What are the emerging lessons for global and national actors?
• How could a cooperation between Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America countries contribute to reinforcing a more effective use of learning data?

However, the case of Latin America will allow giving more attention to local actors and their interaction. This will enable to examine the use of learning data not only at higher political levels but also at lower decentralised or school levels, which is an important issue in this context.

Moreover, media plays an important role in the region when it comes to dissemination of learning assessment results and discussions that arise afterwards. Analyses performed in Ibero-American countries demonstrated that assessment results are often presented with a degree of sensalisation that might influence the use that is made of this data at a later stage. This panel presentation will allow exploring the influence of media in more depth.

As Latin America has been experimenting with different evaluation modalities for quite some time now, the panel will aim to grasp lessons that could be useful for other countries that are only moving towards similar reforms. The links to challenges in Sub-Saharan Africa will be explored underlying differences between both regions.

Finally, multiple global powers have crossed the region over time and international frameworks have played an important role. This panel session will allow exploring how this has affected a development of learning assessment systems across the region and how it has shaped the use of their data in education policy.

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