|Abstract:||Organisations should have clear quality goals, and the managing of the system and decision-making on different levels should be based on analyses and relevant data. Traditional educational systems and practices often do not follow these requirements.
Planning in education cannot be based simply on lists of learning contents and methods, but must be oriented towards learning objectives. The curriculum is conceptually different from an instructional plan and it goes beyond the mere planning of teaching and learning. The fundamental requirements of the curricular approach are rationality, exactness, and the verifiability of learning objectives. The curriculum is considered on three levels: the intended, implemented, and especially attained or achieved curriculum, where the achieved measurable learning objectives are assessed. Within the school system, the standards of knowledge must be defined. Describing content standards is not sufficient. With the help of the national assessment of knowledge and/or public examinations it is necessary to set performance standards. Within school systems with public examinations, for example, the Matura exam in Slovenia or other formats of a national assessment of knowledge, such achievements can be used as feedback for teachers, schools, and other experts, in addition to being used for certification. Thus the gathered data of summative assessment can be used for planning future instructional activities – proposed for new groups of students; this is considered as a secondary level of formative assessment. The function of formative assessment is to establish which adjustments, additions, and directions are needed in the teaching and learning process while the knowledge is still forming. The ongoing analysis of the student assessment data method used as a management tool can in the long run systematically lead to improvements in teaching, effectiveness, as well as assessment and quality assurance.
In its empirical part, this dissertation describes the development, structure, and capabilities of the Assessment of/for Learning Analytic Tool (ALA Tool), the Slovenian School Performance Feedback System. Within our researches, as a contribution to the development of quality management in school systems with external examinations, we upgraded the Tool for management in education. The dissertation contains results and outcomes of several studies:
• Showing only one indicator can paint an erroneous picture of how successful a school is in preparing and instructing students for the Matura exam.
• When selecting the subjects for the Matura exam, the following important variability can be observed: science optional subjects are selected by candidates with better overall achievement, while social science optional subjects are selected by candidates with significantly lower overall achievement.
• Schools, or individual classes within the school, are not homogenous as far as their achievements in particular subjects are concerned; they are not equally successful at all school subjects. A school, or an individual class, can be above average in one subject, and below average in another.
• Over several consecutive years there can be important changes in overall achievement in a school due to the variability in results in individual subjects.
• In addition to the variability of the overall achievement and/or in individual subjects in different schools, the variability of the overall achievement and/or in individual subjects between classes within the same school is equally important.
• The gap between boys and girls in externally assessed exam achievements is narrowing, and boys can even surpass girls.
• Teacher-allocated points at internal parts of examinations have on average approached the maximum value in some subjects and increase every year. This phenomenon can be defined as grade inflation.
The ongoing analyses of the student assessment data method as a management tool in education can be used in the expert management of school policy (the national level), among princip|