Introducing standardised testing into the Flanders education system
The Flemish Community of Belgium has one of OECD’s most devolved education systems. Schools have a high degree of autonomy grounded in the principle of ‘freedom of education’. Flanders has been among the top performers among countries participating in Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). Student performance, however, has been deteriorating and more students are failing to reach basic proficiency levels than before. Against this backdrop, a series of reforms have been initiated to help students adapt to changing demands placed on their skills and strengthen the overall quality of education. As part of these reforms, standardised tests, initially in Dutch and mathematics are being introduced to evaluate student, school and national performance and learning gains.
Michelle Meadows is working with Marco Kools and Claire Shrewbridge from the OECD Implementing Education Policies team and Professor Inge de Wolf from Maastricht University to support the Flemish Ministry of Education and Training, helping them to optimise the design, implementation and evaluation of the testing arrangements.