South Africa performs poorly on international assessments of mathematics. Learner performance at both at primary and secondary school levels does not appear to have improved significantly over the past 10 years. Assessment should provide a catalyst for improved learning and reflective teaching practices. Usually, standardised testing is used as a means of measuring learners’ achievement, which can be a useful determinant of educational policy and reform. CREATE used standardised mathematics Grade 4 and 6 tests and administered them to Grade 5 and 7 learners in 12 schools in South Africa. Research explored whether learners at these grades in have the ability to read, write and respond to the kinds of numeric tasks specified by the National Curriculum Statement (NCS) as an indication of the extent to which learners could be considered “silently excluded”. This policy brief describes the results of this study and suggests recommendations for assessment policies in South Africa.
CREATE South Africa Policy Brief 3, 4 pp.