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Journal Article

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Current Issues in Comparative Education (CICE)





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Timely and credible data on student learning has become a global issue in the ongoing effort to improve educational outcomes. With the potential to serve as a powerful diagnostic tool to gauge the overall health and well-being of an educational system, educational assessments have received increasing attention among specialists and the media. Though the stakes are high, relatively little is known about the cost-benefit ratio of various assessments compared to other educational expenditures. This paper presents an overview of four major types of assessments — national, regional, international and hybrid — and the costs that each has incurred within 13 distinct contexts, especially in low-income countries. The findings highlight broad variation in the total cost of assessment and the cost-per-learner. This underscores the importance of implementation strategies that appropriately consider scale, timeliness, and cost-efficiency as critical considerations for any assessment.

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© 2011 Current Issues in Comparative Education, Teachers College, Columbia University, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED Current Issues in Comparative Education, Vol. 14: 3-23.



Date Posted: 25 April 2018

This document has been peer reviewed.