chapter  5
21 Pages

Quality and Equity in the Era of National Testing

The Case of Sweden
WithAnette Bagger

This chapter considers quality and equity in mathematics education and addresses how discursive circumstances on national tests position students, particularly those in need of special support, at both the individual and group levels. It discusses that the processes and systemic patterns prompting inequalities need to be evaluated at the local, national, and international levels. National tests in mathematics in students' third grade in school were reinstated in Spring 2010, and to date, third graders have taken national tests for seven years, something that might change given suggestions in a social democratic governmental investigation on national education assessment. In short, it is suggested that tests in third grade be eliminated, since the several purposes of national tests have been deemed incompatible. Throughout national testing in mathematics in the third grade, a secondary purpose was cited as an important argument for tests and connected to the decreased levels of knowledge on the subject: to identify pupils in need of early support.