Improving education quality is a major concern worldwide given the links between better student outcomes, poverty reduction and economic growth. The Improving Educational Evaluation and Quality in China (IEEQC) project thus aimed to examine school effectiveness (using innovative quantitative methodology - multilevel modelling) and the role of local context and priorities in determining definitions of educational quality in China, thereby addressing a gap in previous research. The methodology comprised a systematic literature review and two linked studies, involving the analysis of examination and other data from 90,000+ students as well as interviews with key stakeholders. Findings indicate:
- Relevant predictors of students examination performance exist, some unique to China (e.g. residential status). Adjusting for these variables, statistically significant differences in \"value added\" measures of school effectiveness were identified. Differential effects were also found within schools for different curriculum subjects and student groups suggesting that a range of measures are required to reflect the complexity of school performance in China.
- Regional differences in relevant measures and findings suggest that in China regional \"value added\" systems may be more appropriate than a national system.
- New \"value added\" approaches to school self-evaluation and improvement would be welcomed by stakeholders, if adapted to Chinese/local priorities for educational quality such as promoting students all round development. However, systematic longitudinal data collection procedures are needed to ensure quality data in the required format.
- Customised training and dissemination is needed for policy makers, practitioners and public to improve understanding of the “value added” concept and evaluation methods.
Thomas, S.M.; Peng, WenJung. Improving Educational Evaluation and Quality in China. ESRC End of Award Report, RES-167-25-0353. ESRC, Swindon, UK (2011) 8 pp.