Bush contra OECD

Nieuws | de redactie
21 april 2008 | De regering-Bush is zeer skeptisch over het OESO-voorstel om tot een PISA voor het HO te komen, om “[to give] stakeholders like higher education institutions, governments, students and employers better information on what undergraduate degree students know and can do,” zoals een OECD-document  aangeeft. De American Council on Education spreekt de vrees uit, dat de resultaten van zo’n toetsing “would most likely be used to rank institutions”, ook al heeft de OECD dit oogmerk nadrukkelijk ontkend.

“This is problematic,” schrijft president, David Ward, “because of highly variable missions and financing systems of different college systems. Policymakers will undoubtedly be inclined to use the results in ways that will disadvantage those institutions that do not perform well against others, possibly for reasons over which they have no control.” Het Amerikaanse HO is blij verast over de opstelling van minister Spelling in deze, aangezien zij veeleer bekend staat als een groot voorstander van toetsing van studenten en leerlingen om de kwaliteit van instellingen te meten en hen daarop in bekostiging ‘af te rekenen’.

In ons land zijn er verschillende mensen die met meer belangstelling kijken naar een dergelijk HO-Pisa. VVD-er Halbe Zijlstra heeft al voorgesteld om te komen tot een soort gemeenschappelijke eindtoets voor de bacheloropledingen. Ook UM- voorzitter Ritzen wees al op de ontwikkeling binnen de discussies in de OECD.

‘U.S. government officials as well as representatives of American testing organizations have participated in the OECD discussions, which are supposed to come to a head later this week at a meeting in Paris, where its education policy committee is expected to decide whether to proceed with a feasibility study on higher education assessment. Last week, at the urging of American college leaders, the Education Department arranged a discussion between OECD officials and college representatives about the idea of an international measurement system.

Officials familiar with the discussions said that higher education leaders voiced their concerns in no uncertain terms, and that Education Department experts expressed their own reservations about the feasibility of developing a single mechanism for assessing and comparing the performance of highly varied higher education systems.

Grover J. (Russ) Whitehurst, director of the Education Department’s Institute for Education Sciences and the U.S. representative on the OECD education policy committee, played down the suggestion that department officials were openly opposing the OECD’s ideas.

The international organization has not defined its vision for higher education assessment, Whitehurst said, so it is “pretty hard to decide” whether to support something without knowing exactly what that something is. He said he believed there would be much more support in the department, and among higher education officials, for “multiple measures of student learning that institutions could use for self-examination and self-improvement” than for “a single instrument, high-stakes assessment for higher education.”

Whitehurst acknowledged, though, that in typical OECD fashion, the organization would “look for funding from governments that are interested in participating” in the higher education project, and that “we do not anticipate, as a U.S. government, funding such a feasibility study.” [bron: InsideHigherEd]


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