The Effects of Assessment: a Reflection from within the Economic Worldview in Education

  • Olivier Michaud


Introduction: In a seminar held in my university last fall on education policy research, I was, like many of my colleagues, astonished at the dominance of the economic worldview in the shaping of American education.1 The question of what good education is was surprisingly absent from the book used in the seminar: Handbook of Education Policy Research (Sykes, Barbara, & Plank, 2009). The majority of the authors of this book were more interested in how we could make the educational system more efficient. More to the point, they were interested in how efficiency can be measured. This is why the main methodology used by the researchers was quantitative. Indeed, the assumption is that only quantitative methods allow for a more accurate judgment of reality at large, in this case the educational system, and show possible links between causes and effects.