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The use of evaluation power in a decentralized education system. The case of Sweden
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science, Umeå Centre for Evaluation Research (UCER). (UCER)
2015 (English)Conference paper, Presentation (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this paper is to explore and discuss the role of evaluation in local school governance. Local school governance refers to all the public and private school actors’ and institutions’ (e.g. education committees, school principals and parents) governing of schools and education.

The applied framework takes departure in governance research and research on evaluation and governance. The role of the municipality in a country’s education system largely depends on the division of power between levels of government, and the mandate and discretion given to local governments and school providers. The discretion also varies depending on changes in national school governance and other factors such as being subjected to global education governance as a member of the EU and OECD. The governance structure and mode of governance embeds and steers evaluation and how governance and evaluation should interplay.

A close look at evaluation in Sweden, based on a case study of four Swedish municipalities, is an illustrative case as the education evaluation arena is overcrowded and the decentralised education system provides freedom of choice that allow local governments and school providers to use their evaluation power differently.

The results show e.g. that politicians develop and use local evaluation systems to maintain its governance model and govern schools to enhance achievement of national and local policy objectives, and comply with or question critique from school inspections. Teachers, subjected to increased accountability pressure, do not use external evaluations for improving teaching. Only their own informal evaluations serve that purpose.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
role of evaluation, education system, local school governance, Sweden
National Category
Educational Sciences Political Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-111192OAI: diva2:867917
The Sixth Asian Conference on Business and Public Policy 2015, Kobe, Japan November 5-7
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2015-11-07 Created: 2015-11-07 Last updated: 2016-06-10Bibliographically approved

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Hanberger, Anders
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