chapter  1
Toward education improvement
The future of international assessment
ByEugene Owen, Maria Stephens, Jay Moskowitz, Guillermo Gil
Pages 21

The previous decade clearly demonstrates the usefulness of education assessment data for policy purposes, their importance politically and the public’s interest in and appetite for such information. The successful expansion of comparative assessments was due, in part, to timing. The major political issues faced in developed countries during the 1990s – economic crises, education and youth employment – were paralleled by responses from the education sector to establish higher and more clearly articulated standards. Many countries sought to implement systemic reform and turned to education statistics and assessment to evaluate students’ cognitive and affective outcomes.