Developing the enabling context for student assessment in Russia (русский)
In the first decade of the twenty first century, Russia launched a comprehensive reform of its student assessment system. This task was part of a broader reform of the education system, which aimed to ensure that students developed the skills required... Подробнее +
In the first decade of the twenty first century, Russia launched a comprehensive reform of its student assessment system. This task was part of a broader reform of the education system, which aimed to ensure that students developed the skills required for the country's social and economic development. This case study focuses on the main types of assessments used in education: large?scale assessments for monitoring educational quality (international, national, and regional); examinations for secondary school certification and tertiary education selection; and classroom assessments in support of teaching and learning. The paper also examines the enabling context for assessment activities in Russia, which encompasses the policy framework, institutional arrangements, and the human and fiscal resources needed to carry out assessment programs and activities. Russia has a strong education system, but there are concerns about its quality. The country inherited a strong tradition of universal high quality education from the Soviet era. Some 13 million students presently attend 53,000 schools and are served by 1.3 million teachers. The education system is divided into preschool, primary (grades 1-4), basic (grades 5-9), secondary (grades 10-11), and tertiary education. Important lessons can be drawn from this case study. The Russian experience clearly indicates that a national reform to the student assessment system has to be supported by a strong and stable political leadership. Focusing on one strategic reform (in the case of Russia, the Unified State Examination) can open the door to reforms in other areas. The case study is organized as follows. Following the introduction, the paper provides an overview of the enabling context for student assessment in Russia. It analyzes existing policies, institutions, human resources, and funding for assessment activities. The following section describes the different types of assessments that are conducted in Russia: international, national, and regional large scale assessments; examinations; and classroom assessments. The fourth section reviews the driving factors that enabled (or not) reforms in the assessment system. The final section distills the main lessons learned in the course of the reforms.
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