Academic journal article International Education Studies

Potentials of Contextual Value-Added Measures in Assisting Schools Become More Effective

Academic journal article International Education Studies

Potentials of Contextual Value-Added Measures in Assisting Schools Become More Effective

Article excerpt


In a modern society, the schools have become very important entities because they form a social institution, which interests many people and involves the role of various interest groups and stakeholders in the society. The community where a school resides and the parents of children of those who go to that school will be proud if their school if it is categorised as a good school. Conversely, they will blame the school management if it does not perform well in terms of pupils' attainment or if the school's achievement is below the average of the national standards. Parents tend to choose schools, which have a good achievement record for their children. In other words, parents and stakeholders place high expectations on the school. Therefore, it is only natural that school leaders and education authorities as well as every classroom teacher whether in the UK or Malaysia, would want their schools to be more effective when compared to other schools to fulfil the high expectations of everyone in the community. Stakeholders' expectations among others, have been a key driver for the growing interest among education researchers looking for answers to questions such as 'what is an effective school?'; 'school effectiveness for whom?', 'why do we need to have an effective school?', 'how to be an effective school?' and 'what is the accurate, appropriate, reliable and valid instrument to measure school effectiveness?". This study was based on a literature review carried out at Kings' College London, interviews and observations conducted by the writer during a school placement program in London and the current Malaysian education policies, its practice and school context as the background. It is hoped that the analyses presented will provide better insight and contribute further to our understanding as to the utility of Contextual Value Added (CVA) measures in aiding Malaysian schools to become more effective with special reference to the policy and practiced in the UK schooling system. This study will analyse: How far CVA measures can help schools become more effective and to what extent can Value Added (VA) measures tell us anything significant about the performance of the school concerned?

Keywords: Contextual Value Added (CVA), school effectiveness, school management, school performance

1. Introduction

Issues relating to school effectiveness, academic achievement and educational equity have received the attention of researchers and policy-makers in developed as well as developing countries (Siow et al., 1999). Basically, School Effectiveness Research (SER) in Malaysia focuses on the characteristic of effective schools and effective leadership which have been found to be key drivers in transforming under performing schools into effective ones (Sharifah, 2000; Beebout, 1972; Isahak, 1977; Hussein, 1979; Leong, 1990; Arif, 1995; Norasimah, 1995; Chin, 1998). In terms of methodology, a number of school effectiveness research in Malaysia used the case study approach where excellent schools were studied in depth to look for factors that contribute to students' achievement.

In the Malaysian context, the Ministry of Education believes that the achievement of every student should not be a function of gender, Social Economic Status (SES), or ethnicity. In other words, an effective school is a school that provides quality education equally for all (Malaysia of Education Ministry, 2006). This assumption is an important evidence to show that our schools can make something happen and defy Coleman's (1966) theory. Equal opportunity to access quality education for all is a crucial policy for Malaysia. This policy can ensure that disadvantaged and deprived schools such as those in remote areas, rural location or low SES population to became effective schools because it is the only learning institution that can economically uplift and modernise these deprived communities.

As a developing country, Malaysia needs to ensure the efficiency of educational management through enhancing school effectiveness because of the large investment made in education where the education budget has always been more than those allocated for other sectors enhance. …

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