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Lessons from the Field

Lessons from the Field: Developing and Implementing the Qatar Student Assessment System, 2002–2006

Gabriella Gonzalez
Vi-Nhuan Le
Markus Broer
Louis T. Mariano
J. Enrique Froemel
Charles A. Goldman
Julie DaVanzo
Copyright Date: 2009
Edition: 1
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 92
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  • Book Info
    Lessons from the Field
    Book Description:

    Central to Qatar's education reform was the development of internationally benchmarked curriculum standards and standards-based assessments in four subjects: Arabic, English as a foreign language, mathematics, and science. This report recounts the development of Qatar's standards-based student assessment system, providing important lessons learned for Qatar and other countries that are seeking to implement similar measures on a large scale.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-4866-0
    Subjects: Sociology, Political Science, Education

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  4. Figures
    (pp. vii-viii)
  5. Tables
    (pp. ix-x)
  6. Summary
    (pp. xi-xvi)
  7. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
  8. Abbreviations
    (pp. xix-xx)
  9. Glossary
    (pp. xxi-xxiv)
  10. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-8)

    Qatar is a geographically small country located on a peninsula off Saudi Arabia that extends into the Arabian Gulf. It is one of the wealthiest nations in the world because of its oil production and vast reserves of natural gas, coupled with a small citizen population of about 200,000. Before oil was discovered in 1947, no formal education system existed in Qatar. Instead, some children in villages and towns memorized passages from the Qur’an and learned to read and write inkuttabs—informal classes taught in mosques or homes by literate men and women who were knowledgeable about Islam. From...

  11. CHAPTER TWO Design of the Qatar Student Assessment System: A Work in Progress
    (pp. 9-18)

    In August 2002, the SEC asked RAND to conduct background research on possible options for a standards-based assessment system in Qatar. It also asked for support to administer assessments in the spring of 2004, before Independent schools opened in September 2004. RAND organized a team (with specialties and experience in psychometrics, behavioral psychology, statistics, economics, and sociology) to work with the director and staff of the Evaluation Institute to design the QSAS. The director of the SAO and a small core group of staff were hired in 2003. At that point, the RAND team and SAO staff collaborated extensively to...

  12. CHAPTER THREE Implementing the QCEA in 2004, 2005, and 2006: Test Development and Administration
    (pp. 19-28)

    Decisions about which skills the QCEA would assess were determined jointly among the SAO and RAND teams, the test development companies contracted by the Evaluation Institute (CTB and Educational Testing Service, or ETS), and—for the 2005 QCEA—the organization that had contracted with the Education Institute to create the curriculum standards, the Centre for British Teachers (CfBT, now the CfBT Education Trust). Around the time that the test developers were contracted, the Evaluation Institute hired the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) to facilitate the printing and administration of the tests and the surveys fielded to students, parents, teachers, and...

  13. CHAPTER FOUR Scoring the QCEA and Reporting Results
    (pp. 29-36)

    A favorable public perception of the assessment operation is central to the ENE reform’s success. Without public support and approval, parents, teachers, students, and school administrators will not trust results and may even lose faith in the reform effort itself. With that in mind, the SAO and RAND teams worked diligently with the test developers to craft reporting mechanisms that would be meaningful and understandable to the public at large. This chapter documents the scoring and reporting of results of the 2004 and 2005 QCEAs. We also compare results from the 2005 and 2006 QCEAs.

    From June through August 2004,...

  14. CHAPTER FIVE Lessons Learned and Future Directions
    (pp. 37-44)

    As we reflect on the early years of test planning, development, administration, and reporting for the QSAS and the QCEA, a number of important lessons emerge. These lessons can provide helpful guidance for education policymakers around the world who are looking to implement standards-based assessments in their education systems. This chapter concludes with recommendations for the Evaluation Institute as it continues to implement the SAO and RAND teams’ vision for the QSAS.

    As shown in Figure 1.1 in Chapter One, the initial design of the Education and Evaluation Institutes placed responsibility for developing the standards with one entity, the CSO...

  15. APPENDIX A Assessment Elements Considered for the QSAS
    (pp. 45-48)
  16. APPENDIX B Steps to Align Assessments with Curriculum Standards
    (pp. 49-54)
  17. APPENDIX C Performance-Level Results of 2005 and 2006 QCEAs for Ministry of Education, Private Arabic, and Independent Schools
    (pp. 55-64)
  18. References
    (pp. 65-68)