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What’s wrong with benchmarks? : answering the wrong questions with the wrong answers

Woods, Annette F. (2007) What’s wrong with benchmarks? : answering the wrong questions with the wrong answers. Curriculum Perspectives, 27(3), pp. 1-10.

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Abstract

Calling on Foucault’s notions of the formation of objects this paper sets out to unpack the ambiguities evident in Australia’s approach to accountability through testing approach. The work speaks equally to other contexts where accountability, benchmarking, and standardised testing are being used to ‘fix’ education systems. The analysis suggests that the authority of the accountability through testing initiatives can be critiqued on at least four levels of ambiguity. These levels of ambiguity concern issues of the formation of benchmarks as entities, the unproblematic acceptance of essentiality, the identified subgroups used as categories to disaggregate and report data, and psychometric disparities in the testing and the public reporting of these benchmarks.

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ID Code: 19600
Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Foucault, accountability, benchmarking, standardised testing
ISSN: 0159-7868
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Current > Schools > School of Early Childhood
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 Australian Curriculum Studies Association
Deposited On: 16 Apr 2009 14:06
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 23:56

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