The conference brought together policy makers and assessment officials from the six Central America countries and practitioners from Argentina, Mexico and Chile.
The objective of the conference was to move towards educational systems focused on student learning, by providing attendees with a roadmap to use the results of standardized assessments as a diagnostic tool to design school improvement plans and improve learning. The agenda focused on:
1. Understanding the importance of measuring learning and exploring myths and challenges of standardized tests.
2. Exploring the political economy of reforms focused on standardized tests.
3. Sharing the state of art of standardized tests in Central America.
4. Exploring the technical challenges of standardized testing and the communication and use of their results to improve learning.
5. Building a roadmap for the dissemination of standardized tests results to schools and their use for teacher training and school improvement plans.
6. Alternatives for supporting schools on the implementation of their school improvement plans.
The conference was funded by the Russia Education Aid for Development (READ) Trust Fund. Established in October 2008, the READ Trust Fund is a collaboration of the Government of the Russian Federation and the World Bank. The program focuses on improving education quality and learning outcomes in low-income countries through the design, implementation, and use of robust systems for student assessment.