OECD report on standardised testing in Flanders

Friday, June 30, 2023

Category: Research Centre News


Strengthening the design and implementation of the standardised student assessment reform of the Flemish Community of Belgium

The Flemish Community of Belgium has been a stronger performer on international tests, however, performance has been deteriorating and more students are failing to reach basic proficiency levels than before. In response, a series of reforms have been initiated including the introduction of standardised tests, initially in Dutch and mathematics, to evaluate student, school and national performance. Michelle Meadows worked with Marco Kools, Inés Sanguino Martínez and Claire Shrewbridge from the OECD Implementing Education Policies team and Professor Inge de Wolf from Maastricht University to support the successful design and implementation of the tests.

The report presents the analysis, key findings and recommendations including the need to clarify the main purpose of the tests. As the current policy gives equal weight to the use of the data at system, school, classroom and student level, the tests may not meet all the expectations for their intended use. For example, the design decisions taken so far best support system level monitoring of student performance rather than the use of test data by teachers to improve their pedagogical practice.