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Performance Standards in Assessment and Possible Alternatives

Astrid Tolo (University of Bergen, Norway)

Educational Standardisation in a Complex World

ISBN: 978-1-80071-590-5, eISBN: 978-1-80071-589-9

Publication date: 20 April 2022


The global emphasis on performance-based assessment marginalises teachers' professional work with assessment and affects what is valued and devaluated in education. Thus, it affects students, teachers and schools, how the education system is governed, external experts, educational industry and societies. The programme Assessment for learning (AfL), which developed in the wake of the comprehensive high stakes test regime in England in the 1980s, was initially meant to counteract the democratic deficit caused by the increasing focus on metrics and large-scale assessments. As a backdrop, this chapter discusses performance standards in assessment and their consequences and then asks: What potential do professional standards in assessment have compared to current performance standards, and what do professional standards in assessment look like? The following argument is elaborated: In the endeavour to make education meaningful and relevant for students and societies, there is a need to shift from a focus on (global) standards for assessing students' performance to a focus on professional standards for teachers' work in assessment.



Tolo, A. (2022), "Performance Standards in Assessment and Possible Alternatives", Riese, H., Hilt, L.T. and Søreide, G.E. (Ed.) Educational Standardisation in a Complex World, Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 163-177.



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