Using educational measurement to support countries to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in post-conflict contexts
Dan Cloney, Alex Daraganov, Leigh Patterson, Ray Adams, Ross Turner, & Maurice Walker
Session 5A, 13:00 - 14:30, HAGEN 2
From 2012 through 2017 the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) in co-operation with the Afghanistan Ministry of Education undertook a program of national assessment in Afghanistan: the Monitoring Trends in Educational Growth (MTEG). The assessment program measures mathematical, reading and writing literacy in the national population at the end of grade 3 and grade 6. An aim that emerged later in the assessment program was to be able to locate grade 3 students and grade 6 students on the same learning metric and to describe growth not only within the same grade cohort, but between them in the long-term. This study comprises of, in grade 6, 5 979 students, in grade 3, 4 936 students, and in a grade 4 and 5 link sample, 1200 students.
This paper addresses the methodological approaches used to meet this challenge. The measurement approach had to control for variations in modality - Grade 6 was a paper- based assessment while grade 3 was computer-based to accommodate the relatively low levels of literacy in the grade 3 population. This linking study also had to implement a novel design, with neither common-students or items, an intermediate sample of grade 4 and 5 students was drawn. Novel approaches to assessing the quality of link-items was needed, and both model-oriented approaches (e.g., iterative comparisons of nested model deviance) sensitivity analysis (e.g., rank-order association of item parameters between samples) were implemented with the relatively sparse data.
This study illustrates how novel approaches are needed in fast-moving development contexts. This study will also demonstrate how the work being implemented right now can be used to support capacity development and growth within countries and to aid increased engagement with the international community through the SDG 4 agenda. Demonstrating that countries can report against the SDGs while using their own assessment programs is an important step to increasing the engagement of all countries in the learning for all agenda.