Advertisement

Policy and Practice in Swedish Education, Assessment, and School Leadership

  • Christina WikstromEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Studies in Educational Leadership book series (SIEL, volume 16)

Abstract

In recent years, the Swedish school system has been subject to a number of reforms. These reforms have mainly been focused on decentralization and educational goals and have resulted in many changes for the schools and people in the system. Among other things, the responsibility for schools was moved from the state to municipalities. The “free school reform” and the introduction of a voucher system put the schools in the market and introduced competition on many levels. National steering documents would ensure common goals and comparability in terms of educational content. The idea was to give the professionals within the system, i.e., school leaders and teachers, the freedom to decide how to reach the goals, while using the open market to “weed out” unsuccessful schools.

The Swedish system which used to be one of the most centralized and regulated systems in the world, is today one of the most decentralized and deregulated, characterized by competition on many levels and an increasing focus on results. This has put pressure on the schools to show good results, which, in turn, has led to a number of consequences for all stakeholders. This chapter describes the Swedish goal-referenced school system through the perspective of educational accountability and looks at how the reforms and the increased focus on results have affected school leaders and teachers. Validity issues related to the current accountability model and the performance measures are also discussed.

Keywords

Goal Attainment National Curriculum School Leader National Test Accountability System 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Anderson, J.-A. (2005). Accountability in Education. France: The International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP). (The International Academy of Education (IAE)).Google Scholar
  2. Andersson, H. (1999). Varför betyg? Historiskt och aktuellt om betygen (Why grades?). Lund: Studentlitteratur.Google Scholar
  3. Carlgren I., & Klette, K. (2008). Reconstruction of the nordic teachers: Reform policies and teachers’ work during the 1990s. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, 52(2), 117–133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Education Act. (1985:1100). Stockholm: Department of Education.Google Scholar
  5. Eklöf, H. (2010). Betygen i den svenska skolan (Grades in the Swedish school). In A. Hult & A. Olofsson (Eds.), Utvärdering och bedömning i skolan (Evaluation and assessment in the school). Stockholm: Natur & Kultur.Google Scholar
  6. Eklöf, H., Andersson, E., & Wikström, C. (2009). The concept of accountability in education: Does the Swedish school system apply? Cadmo, 2, 55–66.Google Scholar
  7. Hamilton, L. S., Stecher, B. M., & Klein, S. P. (Eds.). (2002). Making sense of test-based accountability in education. Santa Monica: RAND.Google Scholar
  8. Hamilton, L. S., Stecher, B. M., Marsh, J., McCombs, J. S., Robyn, A., Russell, J., Naftel, S., & Barney, H. (2007). Implementing standards-based accountability under No Child Left Behind: Responses of superintendents, principals, and teachers in three states. Santa Monica: RAND.Google Scholar
  9. Hattie, J. (2009). Visible learning. A synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  10. Höög, J., & Johansson, O. (Eds.). (2010). Struktur, kultur, ledarskap—förutsättningar för framgångsrika skolor (Structure, culture, leadership—prerequisites for successful schools). Stockholm: Studentlitteratur.Google Scholar
  11. Johansson, O. (2001). Swedish school leadership in transition: In search of a democratic, learning, and communicative leadership? Pedagogy, Culture, & Society, 9(3), 387–406.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Korp, H. (2006). Lika chanser på gymnasiet? En studie om betyg, nationella prov och social reproduktion (Equal chances in upper secondary school? A study on grades, national tests and social reproduction). Lund: Lärarutbildningen, Lund University.Google Scholar
  13. Lundahl, L. (2002). From centralization to decentralization: Governance of education in Sweden. European Educational Research Journal, 1(4), 625–636.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Messick, S. (1989). Validity. In R. L. Linn (Ed.), Educational measurement (3rd ed., pp. 13–103). New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  15. Ministry of Education (2001). Lärande ledare (Learning leaders). (Report no. 4). Stockholm: Utbildningsdepartmentet/Ministry of Education. Retrieved from http://www.sweden.gov.se/content/1/c4/32/34/a64fc34f.pdf. Accessed 27 July 2011.Google Scholar
  16. National Agency for Education (2005). National assessment and grading in the Swedish school system. Stockholm: National Agency for Education.Google Scholar
  17. National Agency for Education (2006). Competence and opportunity—the importance of teachers, their working situation and conditions (Report 282). Stockholm: National Agency for Education.Google Scholar
  18. National Agency for Education (2009a). Vad påverkar resultaten i svensk grundskola. Kunskapsöversikt om betydelsen av olika faktorer (What is affecting the results in Swedish elementary school. A review of the importance of different factors). Retrieved from http://www.skolverket.se/publikationer?id=2260. Accessed 25 Sept 2011Google Scholar
  19. National Agency for Education. (2009b). Likvärdig betygssättning i gymnasieskolan? En analys av sambandet mellan nationella prov och kursbetyg [Comparable grading in uppder secondary school? An analysis of the relation between national tests and course grades.] Skolverket 2009 (Report 338). Stockholm: National Agency for Education.Google Scholar
  20. Nytell, H. (2006). From a quality idea to a quality regime: On state governing of the school. (Doctoral Thesis). University of Uppsala, Department of Education.Google Scholar
  21. PISA (2009). PISA 2009 Results: What students know and can do. Retrieved from http://www.oecd.org/edu/pisa/2009. Accessed 25 Sept 2011Google Scholar
  22. Polikoff, M. S. (2010) Instructional sensitivity as a psychometric property of assessments. Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice, 29(4), 3–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Popham, J. W. (2007). Instructional insensitivity of tests: Accountability’s dire drawback. Phi Delta Kappan, 89(2), 146–155.Google Scholar
  24. Popham, W. J. (1997). Consequential validity: Right concern—wrong concept. Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice, 16(2), 9–13.Google Scholar
  25. Popham, J. W. (2009). Assessment literacy for teachers: Faddish or Fundamental? Theory into practice, 48, 4–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. School inspectorate (2010). Rektors ledarskap. En granskning av hur rektor leder skolans arbete mot ökad måluppfyllelse. (The school leader’s leadership. A review of how school leaders are leading the work toward increased goal achievement). (Report 2010:2015). Stockholm: Skolinspektionen. Retrieved from http://www.skolinspektionen.se/Documents/Kvalitetsgranskning/rektor/kvalgr-rektor-slutrapport.pdf.Google Scholar
  27. SOU 2008:109. (2008). En hållbar lärarutbildning (A sustainable teacher education). Retrieved from http://www.sweden.gov.se/sb/d/10005/a/116737.Google Scholar
  28. Stobart, G. (2008). Testing times: The uses and abuses of assessment. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  29. Wedman, I. (1983). Den eviga betygsfrågan. Historiskt och aktuellt om betygssättningen I skolan (The eternal grading question. Historical and current issues about grading in the schools). Stockholm: Skolöverstyrelsen & Liber Läromedel/utbildningsförlaget.Google Scholar
  30. Wedman, I. (2000). Behörighet, rekrytering och urval: Om övergången från gymnasieskola till högskola (Eligibility, recruitment and selection). (Högskoleverkets arbetsrapporter 6 AR). Stockholm: Högskoleverket.Google Scholar
  31. Wikström, C. (2005). Criterion-referenced measurement for educational evaluation and selection. U (Doctoral thesis). Umeå University, Department of Educational Measurement.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Umeå UniversityUmeåSweden

Personalised recommendations