Verónica Oelsner

Political uses of educational assessment systems: The case of Argentina


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This article focuses on the political dimension of assessment systems, taking as its case study the Argentinean Assessment System of Education Quality (SINEC) from 1993 to the present. The author assumes that assessment systems are not just policy-relevant but also political instruments in the sense that, beyond their declared aims, they often pursue non-declared aims related to political endeavours that are interlinked with the control and steering of education systems. Based on this assumption, actions taken by the Argentinean Ministry of Education are analyzed related to the results from each assessment round, aiming to understand how the Ministry used its assessment system and what functions were effectively intended, irrespective of the declared intentions. The article shows how the uses and functions of the assessment were driven in different periods by diverse short-run political tensions and interests rather than by policy aims.