National test results: representation and misrepresentation. Challenges for municipal and local school administration in NorwayMay 11 2017
Journal article in Nordic Journal of Studies in Educational Policy, published online April 24, 2017.
This paper addresses the publication of results from national tests in primary and lower secondary schools by Norwegian national authorities. Test results must be made available to the public, and are published in an aggregated format at school, municipal, county and national levels on a public website. These aggregated test results are meant to provide information on school quality for local government, as well as for school development. However, how the data are presented influences their usability, and this is further affected by the fact that many municipalities and the majority of schools are quite small. Hence, in many instances the information that can be retrieved from aggregated test results at school or municipal level are of little or no value to the users. When presenting the aggregated data to the public, the government should clearly state that the data might not be useful for small schools or small municipalities with regard to analysing their own performance and for quality enhancement.