Public Trust in High-Stakes Assessment and its Measurement

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Public Trust in High-Stakes Assessment and its Measurement

Sociologists (and journalists) have increasingly claimed that society is less trusting of public institutions (O’,Neill, 2002). Public trust in the examination boards responsible for setting, marking and grading national examinations is important,given the uses to which assessment results are put, examination results impact upon the life chances of students and the careers of those who teach them. This paper discusses possible indicators of public trust in examination boards. In particular, it explores the findings from an analysis of enquiries about results data.The analysis shows despite apparent improvements in quality of marking, the number of re-mark requests continues to increase yearly. To what extent, however, are such trends an indication of a lack of public confidence in assessment or a result of other societal pressures on students and teachers toperform? How else could public trust in assessment be objectively measured?

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