The World Bank held a joint Third READ Global Conference and Sixth World Bank ECA Education Conference in Eschborn, Germany from October 23-26, 2011. The event was hosted at the headquarters of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and sponsored by the Russia Education Aid for Development (READ) program, the World Bank's department for education in the Europe and Central Asia Region (ECA), and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
Under the theme "Using Student Assessment Results for Education Quality and Systems Strengthening", the 2011 conference focused on ways in which data from various assessment activities (international and national large-scale assessments, examinations, and classroom assessments) could be used to strengthen education systems and improve learning outcomes. Assessments provide a way to gather information on what students know, understand, and can do and to identify areas in need of improvement. Assessment activities are only effective in improving education quality when they are used in ways that inform policymakers’ decisions, help teachers improve their teaching practices and empower parents with information about how well their children are learning.
The key objective of the conference was to help READ supported and ECA countries to strengthen their ability to use assessment results in meaningful ways that would ultimately contribute to improvements in education quality. The conference helped participants to develop a better understanding of how to:
- use assessment results to improve education policy and practice at national/sub-national and school levels;
- support efforts to help teachers and other educators understand how to interpret assessment data; and
- involve students, parents, and public stakeholders in monitoring learning outcomes in their schools and communities.
Additionally, the conference provided participants with an opportunity to learn lessons from other countries’ experiences with the use of student assessment results. Site visits with local stakeholders that use student assessment results highlighted recent developments and the practical, concrete ways that Germany is using assessment data to improve its student learning outcomes.
- Delegations of senior education officials/assessment practitioners from the eight READ-supported countries (Angola, Armenia, Ethiopia, Mozambique, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Vietnam, and Zambia);
- Delegations of senior education officials/assessment practitioners from ECA client countries;
- High-level donor representatives from Russia, the World Bank, and Germany;
- International experts in assessment and education quality (including experts from Russia and Germany);
- World Bank experts on assessment, READ program staff, and members of the READ Technical Group;
- World Bank education staff from the ECA region;
- GIZ representatives working in ECA and READ supported countries.
For more background information about the conference, please refer to the Conference Concept Note