The results of the Regional Comparative and Interpretive Study (ERCE) conducted by UNESCO this week are known, i.e. the International Standardized Assessment, which was implemented in 2019 on the model of the third and sixth classes of the primary level. Language, Mathematics and Science. These results show that Argentina has worsened what was obtained in 2013 and 2006 in the previous two editions of the same process.
After the results were communicated, experts, civil servants, journalists, teachers and union representatives expressed various views, focusing the conversation on an issue as comprehensive as possible: the quality of education. In the arguments, this statement appears to be relevant: 1) investment in education, therefore, if the quality is “increased or decreased” depending on how much GDP is allocated to education; 2) the standardization of the process, therefore, the type of test, its method, limitations and possibilities and 3) the learning that indicates whether this function has been achieved and, consequently, the condition to be confirmed. The quality of education in a country is “good or bad”.
The first of the arguments focuses on showing how dramatically Magrismo Education’s investment has fallen, with the result that linear reading is dangerous: if bad results are associated with a neoliberal administration, can it be invested in a popular government? Also, will those results change? Regardless of whether funding for education is a fundamental issue, an increase in the budget may be necessary but not a sufficient condition for better results. Rather, budget drainage neglect is a way to recognize it.
Second, the critique focuses on challenging the type of assessment and its characteristics, which leads to another simple reading: What are the political costs of participating in the problem, or not participating in it? What are the alternatives. Does it not provide useful information? .
Third, there is the question of whether the results generated by standardized activities allow us to classify the education system with another linear reading: the quality of education is reduced in these ways of capturing learning.
Together, these statements are placed in a general system colonized by the strong primacy of the most conservative sectors of education, which have “succeeded” in the discourse on evaluation. This is for at least two reasons. On the one hand, evaluation is a problem and it is related to quality, a topic that has been thematic since the 80s, although the talk of quality in education since the 50s has been noticed by the same departments today. They are hegemonic in the media. On the other hand, these actors took care to create organizational structures to sustain these conversations, for example, by creating NGOs and offices in different states that could be seen as problematic, and by creating staff (and sometimes technology) who were always firing ideas. Very effective in creating “public opinion”. Moreover, since the 1990s, assessment has become a central issue in education policy, even if it is the only policy that certain governments can take into account.
The information generated by standardized tests becomes a colored light for those who want to use them in a simple way: to criticize the government, to criticize the evaluation system, or to classify a system that has only one type of learning from a great moment. The set of actors that make up that system. When a percentage, a ratio, or, worse, a simple number, is mediated by a value judgment, it is limited to information that becomes an argument. Here we come to the point: There are no regional or national standardized tests Are within themselves Not equivalent to high, or good, or low and bad standards of education. The main problem is how we view the results of any evaluation activity, who makes them, what evaluates them, how they can be compared and compared with any other data, in what context these students operate, and what the structure of the project is. Political and academic, one of these functions and decisions. This is not a way to avoid discussing the bad results of ERCE 2019, but rather an attempt to change the dialogue: if we acknowledge that these data can provide characteristics of certain educational systems (because, effectively, they are not identical). Everything What is done on the computer or “what”), what do they say? Then, what are the key educational principles needed for our men and women to have better educational experiences?
Warning1 To readers: Discussing these questions leads to Time and political decision. If we want to reduce this to a four-year term of government (whatever it may be) or to learn about the leader of the dominant media, we will continue to say that education rating is the right thing to do and even worse. It continues to claim that this does not reflect the “functioning” of our teachers and students.
Warning 2: This reference is based on the unspoken certainty of standardized tests Everything And much less show Everything What happens in the classroom. But relying on it should avoid the opportunity to study what the evidence is And They show, put them in their right dimension, along with other indicators, deeply understand the education system, its strengths and weaknesses and think about better educational principles.
Warning 3: If we discuss the quality of education, It is good to recall the academic awareness that Eduardo Rinsey refers to: education can only be quality if it is academic. for todxs.
* Researcher at the Florial Corinne Cultural Center for Collaboration