Panel Paper: The Differing Dimensions of Student Assessments: Accountability Reforms Around the World

Saturday, November 10, 2018
Wilson A - Mezz Level (Marriott Wardman Park)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Annika B. Bergbauer1, Eric Hanushek2 and Ludger Woessmann1,3, (1)ifo Institute, (2)Stanford University, (3)University of Munich

School systems regularly use student assessments as accountability measures. We argue that different types of assessments generate performance-conducive incentives of different strengths for different stakeholders in different school environments. We build a dataset of over 2 million students in 59 countries observed over up to 6 waves in the international PISA student achievement test 2000-2015. Our empirical model employs the country panel dimension to exploit reforms in assessment systems over time. We find that the expansion of standardized testing used for external comparison and national tests used to determine student careers are associated with improvements in student achievement. These effects are systematically stronger in countries with initially low performance. By contrast, the introduction of internal testing and inspections without external comparison do not affect student achievement. Our findings point out the pitfalls of generalizing results from specific country implementations.

Full Paper: