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  • 1.
    Andersson, Eva
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science, Umeå Centre for Evaluation Research (UCER).
    Carlbaum, Sara
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science, Umeå Centre for Evaluation Research (UCER).
    Hanberger, Anders
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science, Umeå Centre for Evaluation Research (UCER).
    Utvärdering av Läslyftet Delrapport 7: Uppföljning av Läslyftets kvarstående effekter i grundskolan hösten 20172018Report (Other academic)
  • 2.
    Carlbaum, Sara
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Blir du anställningsbar lille/a vän?: Diskursiva konstruktioner av framtida medborgare i gymnasiereformer 1971-20112012Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    School is one of the most important institutions society has for fostering its future citizens. Education policy can be seen as an important arena for the discursive struggle over the meaning of education, not only what it is for, its goals and purposes, but also its deficiencies. Education policies are not mirrors of reality but include a power dimension in describing the problems to be solved. Thus, a specific question or a particular phenomenon is given a certain value and meaning. The different articulations involved in represen­tations of problems construct certain subject positions of citizenship which are not open for everyone. This makes it essential to deconstruct these gendered, racialized and classed subject positions. In the same way as in the beginning of the 1990s, the Swedish school system is currently facing changes. The most recent reform of upper secondary education, implemented in 2011, needs to be viewed in a historical perspective.

    This thesis analyses discursive continuity and change with regard to representations of the problems, goals and purposes of upper secondary education during the period 1971-2011. Focus is also placed on changes and continuities in how the good future citizen is constructed and in what ways gender, class and ethnicity are produced in these constructions.

    The theoretical framework is inspired and informed by discourse theory, feminist theory and theories on citizenship. Adopting this approach, I analyse government policy documents concerning upper secondary education reforms. The analysis shows not only changes, but also the importance of continuities in the dominating discourses of a school for all (1971-1989); a school for lifelong learning (1990-2005); and a school for the labour market (2006-2011). A shift from integration to differentiation is revealed in which the silencing of signifiers, such as democracy, equality and multiculturalism, lead to a risk of unequal opportunities for people to politicize their experience and situation. The previous demands for retraining and flexibility, for emancipation and lifelong learning are marginalised in favour of employability, skill supply and entrepreneurship. The constructions of good future citizens as consumers become instead constructions of citizens as products for business and growth. A male productive worker and male entrepreneur are constructed, privileging a white middle class. Neo-liberal and neo-conservative influences, reinforce the individual’s responsibility to become included in what is constructed as a desired citizenship.

  • 3.
    Carlbaum, Sara
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science, Umeå Centre for Evaluation Research (UCER).
    Citizens governing schools: Customers, partners and right-holders2015Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 4.
    Carlbaum, Sara
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science, Umeå Centre for Evaluation Research (UCER).
    Complaints, gender and power in governing education2017In: Gender, governance and feminist post-structuralist analysis: missing in action? / [ed] Christine Hudson, Malin Rönnblom and Kathrine Teghtsoonian, London: Routledge, 2017, p. 121-140Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 5.
    Carlbaum, Sara
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Correcting Market Failure?: New inspection policies and Swedish free-schools2013Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In recent decades governing processes of education in Europe and beyond has been influenced by neo-liberalism and new public management, involving policies such as decentralization, choice and competition. A far reaching marketization trend has been evident in where schools compete over students as consumers and customers (Rose 1999; Ball 2009, 2012). Alongside this trend of marketization, European countries and education systems are also witnessing increased trends of evaluation and state control through, for instance, national school inspections (Power 1999; Hudson 2011). In Sweden these trends have been remarkable with the introduction of school choice and free-schools, free of charge and state funded, in the 1990s. This has resulted in a growing school market with the unusual arrangement where free-schools also can retrieve profit from tax-funded education (Erixon Arreman & Holm 2011). With the decentralization of education, including the introduction of governing by objectives in education, state control seemed to decrease but this picture changed as national school inspections were reinstated in 2003. This reintroduction was meant to uphold educational equivalence, improve quality and pupil performance and these efforts were also reinforced with the new national agency the Swedish Schools Inspectorate, in 2008 (Hudson 2007; Rönnberg 2012). Underlying these justifications for increased control through inspection is also the belief that more control leads to a better market with more informed customers and the Inspectorate has recently introduced changes in the inspection of free-schools, such as joint inspections of educational companies and corporate groups and increased control of establishing a new free-school. The exciting and largely unexplored intersection of marketization and central state control in the Swedish education policy context is at the focus of this paper.

    The aim is to analyse and critically discuss how the need for changes in the inspection of free-schools in Sweden is framed and represented. The research questions concern how these inspection policies are represented, what their purposes are, how the efforts are legitimized and motivated, what is unproblematised and what interests are prioritized? In so doing, I hope that we can reach a deeper understanding of the intersecting and complex governing practices of marketization in terms of competition and choice and increased national state control through school inspection. Although the Swedish marketization of education is unique, making it an interesting case in its own right, these governing practices are present in other national contexts as well, and the paper also aims to facilitate a discussion of these issues relevant to a broader European context.

    Theoretically, the analysis draws on literature in the field of marketization of education (Ball 2009, 2012) as well as literature on the wider audit society (Power 1999) and school inspection (Clarke 2008; Ozga, et al. 2011; Rönnberg 2012). Mainly my interest lies in the aspect of governing and the argument that we as subjects are governed not by policies themselves but by problematisations. And that how we think about an issue or phenomenon shapes the ‘problem’ and the solutions put forward (Bacchi 2009).

    Methods and materials

    The empirical material includes interviews with officials at the Inspectorate involved in policy and development of inspection policies for free-schools in Sweden during spring 2013. It also includes press releases and polemical articles from the Inspectorate as well as documents, such as project plans and reports. The analytic approach is informed by Foucault and governmentality studies (Foucault 1991; Dean 2010). The material, both interviews and texts, have been carefully analysed with regards to a specific set of questions building on Bacchi (2009). What is the problem with inspection of free-schools represented to be? What presuppositions and assumptions underlie this representation of the ‘problem’?  What is left unproblematic in this ‘problem’ representation? What interests are prioritized and who is likely to gain?

    Preliminary findings and conclusions

    Preliminary findings show that inspection is represented as the universal solution to unwanted consequences of competition such as a lack of equivalence between schools, lack of equivalence in the inspection procedure and judgments made by inspectors, lack of quality, profitmaking and school actors with devious backgrounds. In the paper, I argue that by introducing changes in the inspection of free- schools, the governing through marketization is represented as more efficient and legitimate. The market principles seem to require a strong state and legitimacy for marketization as well as national school inspections are co-produced. The issue of for profit tax-funded free-schools and competition between schools is left un-discussed and silenced.

  • 6.
    Carlbaum, Sara
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Customers, partners, rights-holders: School evaluations on websites2016In: Education Inquiry, ISSN 2000-4508, E-ISSN 2000-4508, Vol. 7, no 3, p. 327-348Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper explores how evaluation, which has expanded at all levels of school governance throughout Europe, shapes parental roles by studying how local school governors and schools in Sweden represent evaluation to parents on their websites. Websites are prime locations for public communications and are useful for exploring the functions of evaluations intended for parental use. In recent decades, parental influence over school has increased through “choice and voice” options, while the role of evaluations has continued to expand in school governance. Evaluations construct social roles, identities, and relations and as such are constitutive of the social world and our place in it. By drawing on Dahler-Larsen’s concept of “constitutive effects”, the discursive implications of evaluation are discussed. The dominant type of evaluation represented on websites is performance data used for accountability and informed school choice purposes. Parents are primarily positioned as customers who exert influence through choice and exit options, reinforcing the almost unquestioned norm of parental right to educational authority. Representations of evaluation differ depending on local political majority, school performance, and public versus independent provider; as such, they are not hegemonic but tend to strengthen the position of parents as individual rights-holders, marginalising forms of collective action. 

  • 7.
    Carlbaum, Sara
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science, Umeå Centre for Evaluation Research (UCER).
    Do you have a complaint?: Juridification in marketized school2014Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 8.
    Carlbaum, Sara
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science, Umeå Centre for Evaluation Research (UCER).
    Do You Have a Complaint?: Promoting Individual Rights in Education2016In: Scandinavian Journal of Public Administration, ISSN 2001-7405, E-ISSN 2001-7413, Vol. 20, no 4, p. 3-26Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper, I explore and discuss potential changes in the constructions of citizenship and state-individual relationships in Sweden in reference to increased regulation and the use of formally filed complaints in the Swedish education system. While several studies have examined issues associated with school choice and student influence, few have considered complaints as an aspect of the 'will to empower' and the construction of an active citizenship. In this paper, I discuss the motivations behind providing complaint systems via an analysis of official government documents, laws, statutes, reports and web materials. Drawing from citizenship literature and exit/voice theories, the analysis shows that complaints have continuously been reinforced through legislation, regulation and the introduction of Child and School Student Representative (CSSR) for equal rights and Swedish Schools Inspectorate (SSI) via student rights arguments and rule of law mechanisms. Legal discourse, the expansion of law and an increased use of complaints indicate a juridification of politics. This juridification could reinforce individualised perceptions of citizenship and education as a private good that is inherent in school choice and marketisation. An emphasis on student rights and complaints tends to result in contract relationships between the individual and state that risk de-politicising education and motivations for and participation in collective action for a common good.

  • 9.
    Carlbaum, Sara
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Equivalence and performance gaps in Swedish school inspection: context and the politics of blame2016In: Discourse. Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, ISSN 0159-6306, E-ISSN 1469-3739, Vol. 37, no 1, p. 133-148Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article analyses and critically discusses how context is relevant when constructing and upholding an equivalent education for all within the neo-liberal educational regime of marketisation and accountability. At the centre of the article is a study of national school inspection reports in four municipalities in Sweden, exploring performance gaps, equality and justice in an educational system, that for decades has emphasised universal welfare, justice and equality. By drawing on the concept of ‘the politics of blame’, findings show that accountability and blame are constructed in complex ways. Although teachers and schools are blamed for low expectations with little contextual consideration by Swedish Schools Inspectorate, local governments are blamed for not redistributing resources. This can both challenge and strengthen the contemporary regime in governing education.

  • 10.
    Carlbaum, Sara
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Governing free choice in Swedish upper secondary education2012Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 11.
    Carlbaum, Sara
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science, Umeå Centre for Evaluation Research (UCER).
    Guardians of individual rights?: Media representation of the school Lundsberg vs the Swedish Schools Inspectorate2014In: The Past, the Present and the Future of Educational Research, 2014Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Research questions, objectives and theoretical framework

    Throughout Europe, governing education is increasingly influenced by different forms of evaluation systems including quality audits, ranking lists, evaluations and school inspection. After trends of decentralization, managerialism and marketization, re-regulation efforts have seen the light to hold education providers accountable, whether public or private (Ozga et al. 2011; Ehren et al. 2013). The politics of comparison and governing by numbers is particularly visible in the media, for example, the media regularly reports on international rankings of pupil results as well as inspection reports and complaints resulting in a complex audit-media relationship (Rönnberg, Lindgren and Segerholm 2013). The re-regulation of a far-reaching decentralized and marketized school system with publicly funded for-profit free schools makes Sweden a unique case with both its egalitarian and social democratic traditions combined with neo-liberal trends. The introduction of the new centralized agency The Swedish Schools Inspectorate (SSI) can be viewed in the light of increased emphasis on state control, evaluation and accountability. For the SSI issues of equivalence and the individual right of the student have been stressed. Issues of quality and equivalence has a tendency to be framed as a legal issue (Lindgren et al. 2012). This seems to reflect a process of juridification (Magnussen and Banasiak 2013). However, the sanctions available to the SSI have been limited. Not until the implementation of the reformed school act in 2011 did it have the means to impose fines or mandate to temporarily shut down schools, apart from withdrawing schools permits from free-schools. Studies have shown that an effective sanction available for the SSI, previously, has been media exposure (Rönnberg, Lindgren and Segerholm 2012).

    The interconnectedness of marketization, central stat control, juridification and mediatization can be explored in the case of the school Lundsberg vs the Inspectorate. Lundsberg is one of three free-schools that is allowed to have student fees, unlike other schools. It also receives specific state funding due to it being a boarding school for students with parents living abroad. The school has a long history previous to the introduction of school choice and free-schools in Sweden and is known as a school for a privileged elite. It has a long history of problems with bullying, abuse and initiations. This is what started the Inspectorates inspection in 2011 after a filed complaint. After a long process of inspection, the SSI end the inspection in spring 2013. However, when the school start again the same autumn one of the students were burnt with an iron. The SSI then closed the school and every student was sent home. This was a major media story. Lundsberg, however, appealed and the court ruled in the interest of the school as the actual event took place in the dormitory and not during school activities. The aim is to analyse this case as it is represented in the media with a focus on how student rights are framed and how the Inspectorate and the school is represented. By doing so I hope to facilitate a deeper discussion about juridification and mediatization in the European governance trends of marketization and audit. Theoretically, the analysis draws on literature in the field of the wider audit society (Power 1997; Dahler-Larsen 2012) and school inspection (Clarke 2008; Ozga et al. 2011) as well as literature on mediatization (Levin 2004; Lingard and Rawolle 2004; Strömbäck 2099). Mainly my interest lies in the aspect of governing and how it shapes our views on responsibility and rights, the relationship between individual and state as well as education and politics.

    Methodology, Methods, Research Instruments or Sources Used 

    In studying the media exposure, newspaper articles have been collected through a media storage database using keywords such as the name of the school, the name of the inspection agency, and words such as evaluation, inspection and control. Although media exposure is not confined to the printed press I argue that it will be sufficient for the projects explorative aim as it can give us interesting knowledge about the audit-media relationship in governing as well as juridification processes. Therefore, the empirical material consist mainly of articles in the printed national press. In addition, I have included material from the SSI and the court, in terms of decision reports, press releases and such. The analytic approach is informed by Foucault (1991) and the material have been carefully analysed with regards to a specific set of questions building on a problematizing approach. What is represented as the problem resulting in the shutdown of the school? How is the inspection process represented? How are the different actors involved represented? Who/what gets to speak? Who is made responsible? Whose interest is prioritized?

    Conclusions, expected outcomes or findings

    Preliminary findings show that while the SSI in the media coverage represent itself as the guardian of individual rights the position of the school, is to represent itself as the one guarding students right to continue their education. The media tends to represent SSI as a watchdog and as a legitimate state control when shutting down what is articulated as a traditionally elitist institution such as Lundsberg. On the other hand the SSI is represented as an illegitimate state control that practices collective punishment. Sanctioning the school should not interfere with other students right to their choice of education and school. Despite the court’s ruling in the interest of the school claiming that the shutdown was illegitimate, the SSI can be viewed as having no other choice in the matter. If the SSI had not acted it would likely have created an ‘expectations gap’ (Power 1997) of what the SSI’s mandate is in the public opinion and what it can actually achieve and control. This would limit the legitimacy for the agency and for governing education by inspections. Furthermore, the case shows some aspects of juridification (Magnussen and Banasiak 2013). This, I argue, can be interpreted by the framing of the issues of bullying, abuse and harassment as legal issues, the tendency to frame it as individual events and not structural or cultural, and the ruling of the court in terms of where the incident took place and the legal grounds for the SSI. 

  • 12.
    Carlbaum, Sara
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science, Umeå Centre for Evaluation Research (UCER).
    Gymnasieskolan i anställningsbarhetens tjänst2016In: Anställningsbarhet: perspektiv från utbildning och arbetsliv / [ed] Gun Sparrhoff och Andreas Fejes, Lund: Studentlitteratur AB, 2016, 2, p. 59-75Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 13.
    Carlbaum, Sara
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science, Umeå Centre for Evaluation Research (UCER).
    Juridifiering och utbildningval: konsekvenser av elevers och studenters rättigheter2016In: Utbildning och Demokrati, ISSN 1102-6472, E-ISSN 2001-7316, Vol. 25, no 1, p. 53-72Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Juridification and choice of education. Consequences of student rights. Increased regulation by law, specification of laws and individual legal entitlements has been described as processes of juridification. In Sweden this is evident in how student rights have become more prominent in governing education. In this article, I explore aspects of juridification that apply to student rights. I argue that juridification and the practice of parental and student choice of schools and education are interlinked, and they emphasise and strengthen an understanding of education as a 'private good', where rights' violations should be solved with reference to law and judicial procedures. I do this by analysing two cases of student appeals in education. The two cases show prevalence of a rights discourse that benefit privileged rather than marginalised groups. Students are positioned as rights-holding consumers constructing a tension between the right to school choice and the right not to be harassed.

  • 14.
    Carlbaum, Sara
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science, Umeå Centre for Evaluation Research (UCER).
    Justice through school inspection?: Educational equity in Swedish schools2014Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper explores representations of high expectations for justice and equality in educational outcomes in the neo-liberal educational regime of individualisation, marketization and increased central state control. At the centre of the paper is a study of national school inspection reports and how they construct educational success or failure in relation to teachers’ high/low expectations and socio-political and school-market context and conditions. The paper focuses on constructions of accountability in terms of ‘the politics of blame’ (Thrupp 1998) and the role of social class, gender and race given school achievement in a Swedish educational system that for decades have emphasised universal welfare, justice and equality. However, the marketization of Swedish education since the 1990s, with school choice, competition and independent schools, seems to have pushed back issues of justice and equality.  In this light, increased state control through national school inspection can be seen as part of an audit explosion (Power 1997) where inspection is made the solution to several ‘problems’ in education, for instance, to allocate blame for the perceived school ‘crisis’ of decreasing results and equality. By drawing on the literature of marketization and the wider audit society, the paper explores equality and justice in embedded contexts.

    Methods

    A diverse case selection (Gerring 2007) of five municipalities has been made based on inspections in 2011/2012; geography; and municipal size in order to make sure some independent schools were included. From the five selected municipals, regular inspection reports of secondary municipal schools and secondary independent schools that provides year nine, have been analysed. This has resulted in inspection reports from a total of 127 schools, including 33 independent schools plus five municipal reports. In close readings of the texts focus has been placed on how different schools are represented, in what ways, if any, socio-political and school-market context and conditions is attended to and how different subjects are positioned in relation to articulations of justice, equality and achievement.

     Expected outcomes

    In the paper, I argue that by marginalising and not discussing issues of socio-political context or the impact that competition has on schools, accountability and blame remains individualised, downgrading ideas of equality and justice. Although, the representations and constructions of gender, social class and race are criticised in articulations of low expectations, the effort not to blame students, tend to ignore the structural aspects and resilience of racist and sexist discourse when individual teachers are meant to just raise their expectations. While educational gaps and equality in terms of gender are often discussed, differences in relation to social class are silenced. Social class seems to be racialized as the only legitimate argument for ‘failure’ is positioning the student group as ‘newly arrived immigrants’. This serves to legitimize and uphold the neo-liberal educational order of individualised blame, difference, hierarchy and competition. 

  • 15.
    Carlbaum, Sara
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Marknadens misslyckande?: om behovet av utökad kontroll av fristående skolor2014In: Utbildning och Demokrati, ISSN 1102-6472, E-ISSN 2001-7316, Vol. 23, no 1, p. 39-56Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Market failure? The need for increased control of independent schools. This article critically analyses the introduction of an establishment control of independent schools in Sweden. I discuss how we can understand this change in the current governing regime of both marketization in terms of school choice and competition and increased central state control through national school inspections. This is done by analysing documents such as project plans and reports and interviews with employees at the Swedish Schools Inspectorate. By drawing on Bacchi’s (2009) “What’s the problem represented to be?” approach, I ask: What is the purpose of the establishment control? What problem is the new control represented to solve? For whom is the control necessary? Establishment control is represented as a problem of market risks that is justified by everyone’s gain. I argue that this is not only constructing legitimacy for school inspections but is also contributing to upholding market principles in education as such.

  • 16.
    Carlbaum, Sara
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    När anställningsbarheten blir skolans allenarådande mål2013Other (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 17.
    Carlbaum, Sara
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Politics of Blame: Constructions of low/high expectations and inequality in Swedish schools2013Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper explores representations of high expectations for equal educational achievement in the neo-liberal educational regime of individualisation and governing by both marketization and increased central state control. At the centre of the paper is a study of national school inspection reports and how they construct educational success or failure in relation to teachers’ high/low expectations and context. This paper focuses on constructions of accountability in terms of ‘the politics of blame’ and the role of social class, gender and race given school achievement in a Swedish educational system that for decades have emphasised equality, equivalence and compensatory education. Increased state control through national school inspection is part of an audit explosion where inspection is made the solution to several ‘problems’ in welfare and public sector to restore trust for example in schools but also to allocate blame for the perceived school ‘crisis’. In the paper I argue that by marginalising and not discussing issues of social class and ethnicity or the impact that competition has on schools, accountability and blame is allocated to individual teachers. In an effort not to blame pupils, the aspect of resources and pedagogy is marginalised where individual teachers are meant to just raise their expectations. While educational gaps in terms of gender are often discussed, differences in relation to social class are silenced. This serves to legitimize and uphold the neo-liberal educational order of individualised blame and competition. 

  • 18.
    Carlbaum, Sara
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science, Umeå Centre for Evaluation Research (UCER).
    Practices of exclusion?: Complaints, gender and power in education2014Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper explores representations of gender in the neo-liberal educational regime of individualisation and governing by both marketization and increased central state control. At the centre of the paper is a study of the use of parents/students complaints to the Swedish Schools Inspectorate (SSI) and the Child and School Student Representative (CSSR). The paper focuses on the historic development of complaints and the logics underpinning its increased legalization and use. The marketization of education simultaneously tend to construct a politics of accountability and blame visible in inspection, evaluations, quality audits and ranking list. These examples of increased state control in school is part of an audit explosion as the solution to several ‘problems’ in school. What has not to the same extent been explored in this governing by evaluation is the increase in filed complaints. This appears to put more emphasis on legal claims where the individual’s right according to law is at the center, marginalizing structural and contextual factors and risking a juridification of politics. I argue that this constructs new forms of citizenship more in line with a legal rather than a political framework where the dominant logic of individual rights, and discourses of failing boys work to exclude considerations of the effects of gender and other dimensions of difference/marginalization. Emphasis on student rights have been closely connected to market logics of competition, choice and students as costumers. The two discourses seem to legitimize and reinforce each other so that social and cultural aspects of governance are neglected.

  • 19.
    Carlbaum, Sara
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Reforming education: Gendered constructions of future workers2011In: Tracking discourses: Politics, identity and social change / [ed] Annika Egan Sjölander & Jenny Gunnarsson Payne, Lund: Nordic Academic Press , 2011, p. 79-111Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 20.
    Carlbaum, Sara
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science, Umeå Centre for Evaluation Research (UCER).
    Utvärdering, marknadsföring och skolval2018In: Skolan, marknaden och framtiden / [ed] Magnus Dahlstedt och Andreas Fejes, Lund: Studentlitteratur AB, 2018, p. 245-259Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 21.
    Carlbaum, Sara
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science, Umeå Centre for Evaluation Research (UCER).
    Vad gör en ökad "rättighetifiering" med högre utbildning?2018Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    Med utgångspunkt i att Högsta domstolen har beviljat prisavdrag p.g.a. bristande utbildningskvalitet diskuteras hur utbildningsval och kontraktstännkande förstärker idén att studenter kan bryta kontrakt och få pengar tillbaka vid missnöje med "leveransen", liksom en tendens att söka konfliktlösning på rättslig väg. 

  • 22.
    Carlbaum, Sara
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Andersson, Eva
    Hanberger, Anders
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science, Umeå Centre for Evaluation Research (UCER).
    Utvärdering av Läslyftet. Delrapport 2: Erfarenheter av Läslyftet läsåret 2015/162016Report (Other academic)
  • 23.
    Carlbaum, Sara
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Andersson, Eva
    Hanberger, Anders
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science, Umeå Centre for Evaluation Research (UCER).
    Utvärdering av Läslyftet. Delrapport 4: erfarenheter av Läslyftet i gymnasieskolan 2016/172017Report (Other academic)
  • 24.
    Carlbaum, Sara
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science, Umeå Centre for Evaluation Research (UCER).
    Andersson, Eva
    Institutionen för pedagogik och specialpedagogik, Göteborgs universitet.
    Hanberger, Anders
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science, Umeå Centre for Evaluation Research (UCER).
    Lundström, Ulf
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science, Umeå Centre for Evaluation Research (UCER).
    Utvärdering av Läslyftets utprövningsomgång2015Report (Other academic)
  • 25.
    Carlbaum, Sara
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Hult, Agneta
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Lindgren, Joakim
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Novak, Judit
    Institutionen vid pedagogik, didaktik och utbildningsstudier, Uppsala universitet, Uppsala.
    Rönnberg, Linda
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Segerholm, Christina
    Avdelningen för utbildningsvetenskap, Mittuniversitetet, Härnösand.
    Skolinspektion som styrning2014In: Utbildning och Demokrati, ISSN 1102-6472, E-ISSN 2001-7316, Vol. 23, no 1, p. 5-20Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Governing by school inspection. In this article we argue that school inspection is an important and potentially influential way of governing education that deserves additional scholarly attention. This introductory article aims to situate and describe the origin, theoretical foundations and methods and materials gathered in the three research projects included in this special issue. We also briefly describe some important characteristics of the Swedish school inspection and finish off with short introductions to the six articles.

  • 26.
    Carlbaum, Sara
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Hult, Agneta
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Lindgren, Joakim
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Segerholm, Christina
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Now I'm Offended! New Regulations and Practices Against Bullying and Degrading Behaviour in Swedish Schools2017Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 27.
    Hanberger, Anders
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science, Umeå Centre for Evaluation Research (UCER).
    Carlbaum, Sara
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Andersson, Eva
    Enhancing literacy through collegial learning?: Evaluation of a teachers’ training programme2017Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) test of 15-year-olds’ reading skills is used to assess and benchmark the quality of national education systems, and PISA is a key pillar in the production of knowledge used to shape policy for steering educational systems (Carvalho, 2012; OECD, 2009). Although the validity of PISA for measuring quality in education systems has been questioned (Hanberger, 2014; Mangez & Hilgers, 2012), it is frequently used by policymakers for this purpose and OECD/PISA has a great influence on how quality in education systems is conceived. National education discourses and policies are significantly influenced by PISA tests and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD’s) recommendations (Breakspear, 2012; Grek, 2010; 2012; Lawn, 2011). Sweden has a decade of declining PISA results and OECD has suggested that Sweden should take action to reform its education system to improve quality and equity (OECD, 2015). One example of the influence OECD and PISA have on Swedish education policy is a recently launched teacher training programme. The programme, initiated by the Swedish government in 2013 with explicit reference to the country’s failings in PISA, is supposed to enhance teachers’ collegial learning in literacy and aimed to improve teaching and student literacy, and Sweden’s performance in coming PISA tests (Ministry of Education, 2013).

    The programme, the Literacy Lift, is currently implemented on a full scale and evaluated during its course to fine-tune the implementation of the programme. On commission by the National Agency for Education (NAE) to evaluate the programme, the authors of this paper along with our colleagues have published two interim reports on the material used for collegial learning and the effects of the programme after the first year of implementation.  In this paper we will analyse this programme with a purpose to unfold and probe the assumptions underpinning the Literacy Lift, a Swedish teacher training programme to enhance collegial learning in order to develop teaching that promotes literacy, in this case language-, reading- and writing-skills among the students. The paper will also explore what effects and consequences the programme has had so far.

    The paper integrates knowledge from evaluation and education research. Programme theory (PT) evaluation (Leeuw 2003) unfolds how programme makers (the government and NAE) intend to improve the quality in the Swedish education system with this programme, and probes the consistence of the programme’s PT. The PT refers to the assumptions as to how the intended effects can be achieved. Stakeholder evaluation assesses how the main target groups (school owners, principals, supervisors and teachers) perceive effects, intended and other effects, and consequences of the programme.

    Education research is used to analyse the programme’s contribution to improve quality in the education system and to probe the programme’s PT. Some education research used to inform policy underscores the importance of teaching quality in improving student learning and performance (Hattie 2009) and of holding schools accountable for learning outcomes (Atkinson et al. 2009; Hamilton, Stecher, Russell, Marsh & Miles 2008; Musset, 2012). School improvement research focuses on “change and problem-solving in educational practice” (Creemers & Reezigt 1997). School improvement does not occur if the “school culture” is not “favourable”, that is, schools “must have shared goals and feel responsible for success”. In addition, there must be a culture of “collegiality”, “risk taking”, “mutual respect and support”, and “openness” (Creemers & Reezigt 2005, 363).

    Methods

    A programme theory analysis unfolds the programme theory and probes the assumptions. Programme theory is a well-established concept used in evaluation research referring to the assumptions as to how a programme achieves its intended effects. There are various approaches to reconstructing and articulating a PT. This paper adopts a policy-scientific approach (Leeuw, 2003). The PT analysis presented includes three main steps: reconstructing the programme’s PT; analysing the PT’s internal validity (i.e. the consistency of its assumptions); and analysing the PT’s external validity (i.e. whether it is supported by relevant research and provides feasible knowledge for resolving the problems it is intended to resolve). The stakeholder evaluation (Hanberger, 2001) collects data from target groups and assesses programme effects and consequences from the perspective of school owners, principals, supervisors and teachers. The assessment focuses on achievement of objectives, other effects and consequences of the program, as experienced by these target groups.

    A variety of data is used. Policy documents and interviews with senior administrators is used

    to reconstruct the programme’s PT. The analysis of the stakeholder evaluation is based mainly on questionnaires to the four target groups with additional supplemental interviews with school owners and supervisors.

     

    Expected outcomes/results

    Since the programme is continuing, being expanded and slightly revised during its course this paper can only present preliminary results. The paper demonstrates the programme’s PT and probes its consistency. The assumption that the training programme can enhance collegial learning can be expected to gain support, but the contribution to improve student’s performance in upcoming PISA cannot. The effects on collegial learning and literacy didactics improvement will vary between different groups of teachers and related to factors such teachers’ motivation and support from principals and supervisors. How teaching is affected and students’ literacy improved will vary according to a number of factors and conditions, e.g. what teachers have learned and how much of this is translated into teaching. The persistence of effects will depend on such as ongoing support from school owners and principals in providing time for collegial learning and applying the content of the programme in the classroom.

  • 28.
    Hanberger, Anders
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science, Umeå Centre for Evaluation Research (UCER).
    Carlbaum, Sara
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Hult, Agneta
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Lindgren, Lena
    Förvaltningshögskolan, Göteborgs universitet.
    Lundström, Ulf
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science, Umeå Centre for Evaluation Research (UCER).
    School evaluation  in Sweden: a local perspective2016Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Evaluation has expanded at all levels of governance as part of the broad doctrine of New Public Management (NPM) (Hood 1991; Pollitt and Bouckaert 2011). According to this doctrine, market mechanisms should be introduced to enhance efficiency and, in the context of school governance, to support competition between schools, free school choice, improved educational quality, and school effectiveness (Lubienski 2009; Lundahl 2013 et al; Merki 2011). Education systems guided by NPM and characterized by results-based management and local autonomy increasingly rely on evaluation at all levels (Mintrop and Trujillo 2007; OECD 2013). Strengthened accountability is assumed to enhance education quality and promote school development (OECD 2015; SOU 2015:22), and a combination of control- and improvement-oriented evaluation systems has been institutionalized at various levels of the school system to promote school development and enhance education quality. However, this development is contested by research claiming that the consequences of growing accountability pressure are problematic for school practice (Hoyle and Wallace 2009; Ravitch 2010). It may create multiple accountability problems, i.e. uncertainty among target groups as to which evaluation system is supposed to do what and for whom and with what authority (Schillemans and Bovens, 2011). Teachers are subjected to too much accountability that can have negative effects on professionals and education (Green 2011; Koretz 2009; Lingard and Sellar, 2013; Hargreaves 1994, Day 2002, Ball 2003, Mausethagen 2013a, 2013b).

    Although evaluation is a cornerstone in local school governance it has not been studied much in this context. Local school governance refers to all the public and private school actors’ and institutions’ (e.g. education committees, opposition parties, school principals, teachers and parents) steering of local schools and education. We need more knowledge of the role and consequences of evaluation systems at the local governance level, and into how local school actors respond to these systems. What local decision makers, school providers, principals, and teachers consider relevant, useful, and actionable knowledge (Stehr & Grundmann 2012) is crucial in understanding the role of evaluation in local school governance.

    This paper explores how local school actors in Swedish compulsory education have responded to prevailing evaluation systems and the growing accountability pressure emerging from the recentralization, marketization, and globalization of education governance. It synthesizes results from a Swedish research project (see method) and aims to improve our understanding of the role and consequences of evaluation in local school governance. It contributes with knowledge of the role and consequences of evaluation at the municipal, school, classroom, and parent/citizen levels. Special attention is paid to the value and consequences of various evaluations for local school development. A close look at evaluation in Sweden is an illustrative case as the education evaluation arena is overcrowded and the decentralised education system provides freedom of choice that actors operating in other education systems in Europe (OECD, 2015; Lawn, 2011) and elsewhere can learn from.

    The paper is developed as part of a larger research project; Consequences of evaluation for school praxis –steering, accountability and school development, financed by the Swedish Research Council (2012-2015). The project explores evaluation in compulsory schools (age 13-15) in four municipalities, and this paper synthesises and discusses the results presented in detail five separate papers.

    Methods

    The conceptual framework, developed in a separate article (Hanberger, manuscript), pays attention to the role of evaluation in three models of decentralised governance, the state model, the local government and the multi-actor model. It focuses on three main possible functions that evaluation can have in local school governance, steering, accountability and school development. It presumes that a governance model intends to steer evaluation to meet the governance models’ and governing actors’ evaluation needs, and that evaluations (performance measurements, stand-alone evaluations, synthesis reports and informal/concrete evaluations) can contribute to these functions. Evaluations may also affect governance in unintended and unexpected ways (Hanberger, 2012). Hence, the framework also accounts for constitutive effects (Dahler-Larsen, 2013) of evaluation systems, that is, to tacit or indirect effects, for example, how evaluation (systems) can shape discourses, defining what is important in education and school systems.

    Four medium-sized municipalities with populations of 75,000–100,000 were selected strategically to reflect differing local conditions and contextual factors that may affect education and the role of evaluation in local school governance. The municipalities differ in political majority, school performance, and share of independent schools, and eight schools were selected for in-depth interviews. The municipalities are anonymized, being referred to as “North”, “West”, “East”, and “South”.

    The paper is based on the analysis of documents, reports, and studies treating global and national evaluation systems, national and municipal policy documents treating school governance and evaluation, minutes from municipal education committee meetings (2011–2013), municipal websites, and 76 interviews. Four politicians from majority parties and three from opposition parties, 10 administrators (i.e. Head of the Education Department, senior administrators, and evaluation experts), five politically elected local auditors, three representatives of independent schools, eight school principals, and 43 teachers were interviewed in person or, in a few cases, by phone. In addition, an electronic questionnaire sent to teachers was used to complement the interviews with them, to obtain an overview of teachers’ experiences of evaluation in the studied municipalities. Conclusions about the functions, effects, and consequences of evaluation were generated by interpreting interviewees’ responses and various texts (e.g. policy documents, minutes, and websites).

    Expected outcomes

    This study shows that multiple accountability problems emerge as a result of overlapping evaluation systems and that local decision makers set up their own evaluation systems to meet the needs of municipal school governance.

    Most of the evaluation systems identified in Swedish compulsory education (for students aged 13–15 years) produce quantitative data capturing measurable aspects of education, whereas data capturing other parts of the curriculum, more difficult or impossible to measure (e.g. how schools have succeeded in achieving democracy, sustainability, and solidarity objectives), are lacking. A few key performance measures are used in several systems.

    The identified evaluation systems induce local school actors and institutions to think and act according to the principles of NPM; these are aligned with most decision makers’ and managerial-oriented principals’ endeavours but not with those of all local school actors. This indicates that evaluations in local school governance serve to support and legitimize the applied governance model and current education policy. Stakeholder evaluations that can provide a more multifaceted understanding, including critical accounts that school actors can use for informed deliberation about the status of schools, consequences of current school policy, and where to go in the future, are not found in our case communities.

    The workload and accountability pressure have increased for both principals and teachers. The consequences have been the most negative for teachers, however, as external evaluations have questioned their professional competence and authority, unintentionally damaging teacher motivation. The external evaluation systems had little or no value in terms of helping teachers improve their teaching practice. Instead, teachers used their own evaluations regarding what works for various groups and students to continuously improve teaching and schools. A few school providers and principals succeeded in developing evaluations addressing the needs of teachers and were used in developing teaching and daily practices.

  • 29.
    Hanberger, Anders
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science, Umeå Centre for Evaluation Research (UCER).
    Carlbaum, Sara
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Hult, Agneta
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Lindgren, Lena
    Förvaltningshögskolan, Göteborgs universitet.
    Lundström, Ulf
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science, Umeå Centre for Evaluation Research (UCER).
    School evaluation in Sweden in a local perspective: a synthesis2016In: Education Inquiry, ISSN 2000-4508, E-ISSN 2000-4508, Vol. 7, no 3, p. 349-371Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article synthesises the role of evaluation at the municipal, school, classroom and parental levels of governance, and discusses the results of the articles appearing in this special issue. The discussion concerns the role of evaluation in school governance, the value of evaluation for local school development, the constitutive effects of evaluation, what explains the present results, how knowledge produced by evaluation can be used, and methodological issues. The results indicate that evaluation systems legitimise and support governance by objectives and results, parental school choice, and accountability for fairness and performance. Evaluation systems emphasise measurable aspects of curricula and foster a performance-oriented school culture. The most important evaluations for improving teaching and schools are teachers' own evaluations. The article suggests two explanations for the actual roles of evaluation in local school governance. First, both the governance structure and applied governance model delimit and partly shape the role of evaluation at local governance levels. Second, how local school actors use their discretion and interpret their role in the education system, including how they respond to accountability pressure, explains how their roles are realised and the fact that actors at the same level of governance can develop partly different roles.

  • 30.
    Kärnebro, Katarina
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science, Umeå Centre for Evaluation Research (UCER).
    Carlbaum, Sara
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science, Umeå Centre for Evaluation Research (UCER).
    Utvärdering av Läslyftet. Delrapport 6: En fallstudie av Läslyftets avtryck och effekter i grundskolan2018Report (Other academic)
  • 31.
    Lindgren, Joakim
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Carlbaum, Sara
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Hult, Agneta
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Segerholm, Christina
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    To see or not to see: challenges in teachers’ enactment of policies on degrading treatment in Sweden2018In: Abstract book NERA, 8-10 March 2018: Educational Research: Boundaries, Breaches and Bridges: 95, University of Oslo , 2018, p. 94-94Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    One of many challenges that teachers face on a daily basis is related to problems with degrading treatment. Teachers work in order to establish a working environment where children can learn; both knowledge and norms and values, i.e how to live together and to understand, care for and respect each other in line with the “fundamental values” in the curriculum (The Swedish National Agency for Education, 2011). All schools are regulated by a policy of zero tolerance towards degrading treatment (The Child and School Student Representative, 2017). The challenge, however, is immense, if not abysmal: hundreds of children obligated to spend year after year in a cramped facility without ever troubling each other with derogatoriness, rumours, ridicule or shoving. Teachers take on this difficult challenge with a broad repertoire of pedagogical tools based on research, theory, experience and tacit knowledge. They deal with chaos and unpredictability in contexts where no single method, plan or manual apply (Cardell, 2017: 226).In this paper we draw attention to how this challenge has been transformed by recent legal regulation of teachers’ work. The School Act has expanded the regulations on degrading treatment and teachers and school staff are today responsible to report any degrading treatment to the principal who in turn has an obligation to report it further to the governing body. This regulation is added to the obligation to quickly investigate and take necessary measures to counteract such treatment (Prop. 2009/10:165; SFS 2010:800).Based on 35 interviews with municipal officials, school directors, school leaders, teachers and other school staff (n 60) in seven schools in two municipalities we describe and analyse how teachers handle issues related to degrading treatment as the pedagogical challenge has been converted into, or complemented by, a judicial challenge primarily oriented towards objective representation of past events. For instance, teachers have to determine, at every incident occurring during the school day, if it should be reported as degrading treatment or not. Reporting has certain consequences, for example time consuming activities of documentation including administration of evolving digital reporting systems, discussions with colleagues and students and communication with parents demanding careful balance and precision. Not reporting has other consequences, e.g. it involves risk taking in terms of accountability since every incident has the potential to later become part of a complaint on degrading treatment issued to The Swedish Schools Inspectorate or The Child and School Student Representative. Thus, to see or not to see incidents is not only a question of teachers’ attention and immediate subsequential action or mindful awaiting – it is a choice that involves a range of strategic and defensive considerations that in a profound way alters teachers’ professional gaze, understanding and practice.The paper is theoretically informed by ideas on policy enactment (Ball, Maguire & Braun, 2012) that provide an overall understanding of issues of policy implementation in times of juridification. In order to qualify the analysis of teachers’ challenges and conflicts between different logics we draw on theories on teacher professionalism (e.g. Englund & Solbrekke, 2015; Solbrekke & Englund, 2011).

  • 32.
    Novak, Judit
    et al.
    Uppsala universitet, Institutionen för pedagogik, didaktik och utbildningsstudier.
    Carlbaum, Sara
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science, Umeå Centre for Evaluation Research (UCER).
    Juridification of examination systems: extending state level authority over teacher assessments through regrading of national tests2017In: Journal of education policy, ISSN 0268-0939, E-ISSN 1464-5106, Vol. 32, no 5, p. 673-693Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Since 2009, the Swedish Government uses an ‘audit’ agency – the Swedish Schools Inspectorate – to monitor and assess the accuracy with which teachers grade student responses on national tests. This study explores the introduction and subsequent establishment of the Inspectorate’s regrading programme as an example of political management of the tensions between competition and equity inherent in neoliberal regulatory regimes. The programme is considered a case for examining contemporary policies and discourses on fairness and government actions undertaken to resolve issues of unfair assessment and safeguard students’ rights. Work of Carol Bacchi forms part of the theoretical background for the investigation of problem representations around and within the programme. The article demonstrates how discursive practices in the fields of government, audit and media have worked to frame teachers’ assessments as incorrect, unfair and as jeopardizing the credibility of the grading system, thus justifying increased central control and authority over teacher assessments. As such, the regrading programme contributed to increased mistrust in teacher professionalism. A legal discourse is identified, and we argue the examination system is being juridified where the abundance of control over knowledge risks turning into a deficit of that same knowledge.

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