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Navigating the evaluation web: evaluation in Swedish local school governance
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science, Umeå Centre for Evaluation Research (UCER). (UCER)
Förvaltningshögskolan, Göteborgs universitet. (UCER)
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science, Umeå Centre for Evaluation Research (UCER). (UCER)
2016 (English)In: Education Inquiry, ISSN 2000-4508, E-ISSN 2000-4508, Vol. 7, no 3, 259-281 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper explores the use, functions and constitutive effects of evaluation systems in local school governance, and identifies how contextual factors affect various uses of evaluation in this context. This case study of three Swedish municipalities demonstrates that local evaluation systems are set up to effectively sustain local school governance and ensure compliance with the Education Act and other state demands. Local decision makers have learned to navigate the web of evaluations and developed response strategies to manage external evaluations and to take into account what can be useful and what cannot be overlooked in order to avoid sanctions. The study shows that in contexts with high issue polarisation, such as schooling, the use of evaluation differs between the political majority and opposition, and relates to how schools perform in national comparisons and school inspections. Responses to external evaluations follow the same pattern. Some key performance indicators from the National Agency of Education and the School Inspectorate affect local school governance in that they define what is important in education, and reinforce the norm that benchmarking is natural and worthwhile, indicating constitutive effects of national evaluation systems.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Co-Action Publishing , 2016. Vol. 7, no 3, 259-281 p.
Keyword [en]
evaluation systems, local school governance, context, navigation, use, constitutive effects
National Category
Research subject
Education; statskunskap
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-121157DOI: 10.3402/edui.v7.29913OAI: diva2:931317
Konsekvenser av utvärderingar för grundskolans praktik
Swedish Research Council, 721-2011-21
Available from: 2016-05-27 Created: 2016-05-27 Last updated: 2016-09-01Bibliographically approved

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Hanberger, AndersLundström, Ulf
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