PRESS RELEASE: UNESCO and Chile’s Education Quality Assurance Agency convene more than 100 assessment specialists in Latin America

By UNESCO

Educational assessment experts from 17 of the 19 countries that will participate in the fourth Regional Comparative and Explanatory Study (ERCE) are meeting in a workshop on August 2-4, 2017 in Santiago, Chile.

The purpose of the workshop is to gather the group’s input on the design of the instruments that will be used in the regional study, which UNESCO will conduct throughout the continent in 2019.

These experts are brought together through a joint effort by UNESCO’s Latin American Laboratoryfor the Assessment of the Quality of Education (Laboratorio Latinoamericano de Evaluación de la Calidad de la Educación, LLECE) and Chile’s Education Quality Assurance Agency.

Workshop participants include the teams that develop national assessment instruments in their respective countries, as well as professionals with training in the fields of mathematics, language and natural sciences.

It is part of the process of strengthening and training the teams working on large-scale learning assessments at the national and regional levels.

This workshop offers these experts the opportunity to contribute to designing the ERCE study tests; it is also an opportunity to provide theoretical and practical knowledge for preparing appropriate items to assess learning through national and regional monitoring processes.

Also supporting this training opportunity are the technical entities that will assist with development of the ERCE study: the Measurement Center (Centro de Medición, or MIDE-UC) of the Catholic University of Chile; the Center for Advanced Research in Education (Centro de Investigación Avanzada en Educación, or CIAE) of the University of Chile, and Chile’s Education Quality Assurance Agency (Agencia de Calidad de la Educación).

Each of these entities will contribute expertise on issues ranging from presentation of the curricular content to assessment processes and development of each item to be included.

According to the General Coordinator of LLECE, Atilio Pizarro, “One of the central pillars of the laboratory is to promote capacity building among national teams and assist them in developing their own systems for tracking and monitoring learning.”

“This workshop is critical for development of the ERCE study because it will start the process of creating instruments that will be used to assess students from the 19 participating countries. This is the largest event of its kind planned for 2017 and is a great opportunity for countries to exchange information about their approaches and the content of their curricula.”

The Executive Secretary of the Education Quality Assurance Agency, Carlos Henríquez, remarked that “We have organized this workshop with UNESCO to develop this test, linking together knowledge, methodologies and work time lines from the different countries, as well as a work agenda with government authorities from around the continent, to ensure that this quality assessment represents common visions and experiences.”

Assessment requires credible processes 

Credible processes for assessing learning are essential to educational quality.

To conduct assessments, it is necessary to have instruments that can properly identify the students’ capacity to respond, with response items that are appropriate to and in line with the content to be assessed regionally through the ERCE study.

For this reason, the Latin American Laboratory for the Assessment of the Quality of Education, led by UNESCO, continues to provide opportunities for developing national capacities, in preparation for implementation of the fourth version of the Regional Comparative and Explanatory Study (ERCE) in 2019.

This important task is part of UNESCO’s mission of tracking and monitoring the new educational agenda through 2030.

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