Realizing Human Potential through Better Use of Assessment and Data in Education

The Salzburg Statement on Realizing Human Potential through Better Use of Assessment and Data in Education

Rising investment in education around the world increases expectations that national systems will prepare more learners for higher levels of education, employment and careers, and that assessments will generate better data on system performance, benefits of public investment, and ways to achieve success in educating each learner.

However, despite much excellent practice, assessments too often reinforce assumptions and expectations about learners’ capabilities rather than seeking to identify their full potential. Assessments and data often struggle to capture the essence and value of cultural differences critical to each community and country’s identity. When based on narrow concepts of achievement and performance, they rely too heavily on simplistic tasks, disempower learners and teachers, and contribute little to improving pedagogy and professional development. Most current approaches reinforce education systems where gaps are widening and goals are narrowing.

We, the participants at Salzburg Global’s session on Untapped Talent: Can better testing and data accelerate creativity in learning and societies? (December 12 to 17, 2015), urge all key stakeholders in the integrated education system to join together to help to address the following challenge: How can we accelerate demand for improved assessment and use of data to progress toward more equitable and personalized education systems that value a wide range of goals and benefit all learners and society?

Full Statement (PDF)