Team member, William Smith, Named OECD Fellow

William C. Smith was recently awarded a Thomas J. Alexander fellowship by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Directorate for Education.  As a fellow, Smith will work at the OECD headquarters in Paris where he will conduct research on how national level test-based accountability systems are expanding globally, with the goal of ensuring efficiency and equity in the delivery of high quality education. His present study examines the potential consequences of this international phenomenon on school structures and student outcomes. First, the study will expand on previous test-based accountability research by classifying the participating countries
in the 2009 PISA into four categories based on national testing policy: Formative, Summative, Evaluative, and Punitive. Additionally, the study links national testing policy to local school enactment through a measure of policy coupling. Using hierarchical linear modeling, these two unique contributions to the field are used to address the following research questions: (1) How is national testing policy related to the
degree schools incorporate testing into their structures and policies? (2) Does the incorporation of testing into a school structure vary by the school’s economic and/or academic composition? And (3) How does the national testing policy and corresponding policy coupling influence student academic outcomes? Answers to these questions will highlight how testing can be effectively used in schools while ensuring equal access to high quality education for all student groups.

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