“Quality’s” Horizons

The Politics of Monitoring Educational Quality
  • Crain Soudien
Part of the Comparative and International Education book series (CIEDV, volume 14)


The latest World Bank strategy document, Education Strategy 2020 (WBES 2020, hereafter), is likely to evoke a great deal of discussion around the world because of the emphasis it places on education quality. WBES 2020 says, for example: “Growth, development, and poverty reduction depend on the knowledge and skills that people acquire, not the number of years they sit in the classroom” (p. vii). It makes a distinction, moreover, between physical access to education and the access education provides to personal growth and development.


Quality Movement Quality Debate Intended Curriculum Mathematic Item South African Policy 
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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Andere E. The lending power of PISA: league tables and best practice in international education. Hong Kong: Comparative Education Research Centre; 2008.Google Scholar
  2. Black P, Wiliam D. Large-scale assessment systems design principles drawn from international comparisons. Measurement. 2007;5(1):1–53.Google Scholar
  3. Bouhlila D. The quality of secondary education in the Middle East and North Africa: What can we learn from TIMMS' results? Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education. 2011;41(3):327–352.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Chen S, Luoh M. Are mathematics and science test scores good indicators of labor-force quality? Social Indicators Research. 2011;96(1):133–143.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Davis Z. November). On generating mathematically attuned descriptions of the constitution of mathematics in pedagogic situations: Unpublished paper presented at the Kenton, South Africa Conference; 2010.Google Scholar
  6. Dempster E, Reddy V. Item readability and science achievement in TIMMS 2003 in South Africa. Science Education. 2007;91(6):906–925.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Hawes H, Stephens D. Questions of quality: Primary education and development. Harlow, UK: Longman; 1990.Google Scholar
  8. Howell, C. (1998). Liberalism, primary goods and national education standards.
  9. Kamens, D. & McNeely, C. (2010), Globalization and the growth of international testing and national assessment.Comparative Education Review, 54(1), 5-25.Google Scholar
  10. Mikk J. Economic and educational correlates of TIMMS results. Lithuania: Paper presented at the International Conference on Economics and Management; 2005.Google Scholar
  11. Mullis I, Martin M, Ruddock G, O'Sullivan C, Preuschoff C. The TIMMS 2011 assessment framework. Boston: International Study Center, Lynch School of Education, Boston College; 2009a.Google Scholar
  12. Mullis I, Martin M, Kennedy A, Trong K, Sainsbury M. The PIRLS 2011 assessment framework. Boston: International Study Center, Lynch School of Education, Boston College; 2009b.Google Scholar
  13. Nikel J, Lowe J. Talking of fabric: A multi-dimensional model of quality in education. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education. 2010;40(5):589–605.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Placier, M., Walker, M. & Foster, B. (2002). Writing the "show-me" standards: Teacher professionalism and political control in U.S. State curriculum policy. Curriculum Inquiry, 32(3), 281-310.Google Scholar
  15. Rutkowski L, Rutkowski D. Trends in TIMMS responses over time: Evidence of global forces in education. Educational Research and Evaluation. 2009;15(2):137–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Sayed Y, Ahmed R. Education quality in post-apartheid South African policy: Balancing equity, diversity, rights and participation. Comparative Education. 2011;47(1):103–118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Sen A. Development as freedom. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 1999.Google Scholar
  18. Sison, A. (1998). What liberalism? Which standards? Whose equity? http://www.ed/eps/PES-Yearbook/1998/sison.html
  19. Soudien, C. (2010, November). Building quality in education: are international standards helpful? Paper delivered at the Comparative Education Society of India, Delhi.Google Scholar
  20. Stephens D. Quality as basic education. Paper prepared for the UNESCO EFA Monitoring Report Team. Paris: UNESCO; 2003.Google Scholar
  21. Tamir P. Justifying the selection of answers in multiple choice items. International Journal of Science Education. 1990;12(5):563–573.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. UNESCO. Learning: The treasure within. UNESCO Commission: Report to UNESCO of the International Commission on Education for the Twenty-First century. Paris; 1999.Google Scholar
  23. Viadero D. Potential of global tests seen as unrealized: Scholars urged to scour TIMMS, PISA for policy insights. Education Week. 2006;26(13):14–15.Google Scholar
  24. Vinson, K. & Ross, E. (2000). Education and the new disciplinarity: Surveillance, spectacle. Cultural Logic, 4(1).
  25. World Bank. Learning for all: Investing in people's knowledge and skills to promote development. Washington, D.C.: World Bank; 2011.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Sense Publishers 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Crain Soudien
    • 1
  1. 1.School of EducationUniversity of Cape TownSouth Africa

Personalised recommendations