An International Comparison of Regional Education Quality Monitoring Pattern

Article excerpt

National Outline for Medium and Long-term Educational Reform and Development in China (2010-2020) indicates that, it is necessary to establish elementary education quality monitoring system, so as to improve the quality of education. Aiming at constructing education quality monitoring network including state, province, city and county in China, National Assessment of Education Quality has been established in 2007. Due to the extensive and large area in China, the social economic environment and the historical cultural tradition in different regions are significant difference, so establishing regional education quality monitoring system is the key for the whole network. In order to improve the quality of elementary education and the balanced development of Compulsory Education in China, this study is to explore rational patterns for regional educational quality monitoring.

1. THE IMPORTANCE OF REGIONAL EDUCATION QUALITY MONITORING

Region is a comprehensive concept. In geography, it's defined by the features of physical geography; in politics, it refers the administrative division; in economics, it can be divided as city, country and mountain area by regional economic traits and population. Generally, any region is human-activity-geographical-environment relationship. So education in region is the system that characterizes the area or space, represents the relationship between education and social resources in this region, and embodies the unification of educational history course and future development in this region. To monitor regional education quality is to evaluate students' learning quality, physical health, mental health and other interacting factors in this region, so as to improve the quality of education. On the one hand, it supplies fundamental education data for National Assessment of Education Quality, which becomes the basis for educational decision-making. On the other hand, it promotes school improvement and guarantees every citizen in this region acquiring fair and high quality education.

Applying Total Quality Management in educational field Since the 1990s, measuring and monitoring the quality of education become the world trend. Many countries, districts and international organizations have developed large-scale educational assessments. For example, OECD is in charge of Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) and IEA is in charge of Trends in international Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), both of which provide a scale with which each participant country can find its own position. Simultaneously, many countries in the world have constructed mature education quality assessment institution, such as the National Assessment Governing Board in United State, the Office for Standards in Education in the United Kingdom, the Education Review Office in New Zealand, the Australian Council for Educational Research, the Korea Institute of Curriculum and Evaluation, the National Institute for Educational Studies and Research in Brazil, the Council for Educational Evaluation in Finland, the National Institute for Educational Policy Research in Japan etc.. By comparison, education quality monitoring in China is only in a preliminary stage. National Assessment of Education Quality, the national surveillance site of education quality, has been continuously testing student academic achievement on mathematics, Chinese, English and science, student mental health, student physical health and other relative influencing factors in Compulsory education stage from 2007. Twenty-eight provinces, autonomous regions, municipality directly under the Central Government and Xinjiang Production and Construction Crops in China take part in the test, which is beneficial to the perfection of supervision evaluation index system, the well consultation system for educational policy-making department and the development of education quality monitoring network in China. However, national surveillance site mainly work at the relevant polity guarantee and the technical director including the development of tool, the standard formulation and the professional practice; each province should establish their own supervision system in the light of their own situations; and each county surveillance site should be responsible for the specific implementation of education quality monitoring. …