Review of the Danish Evaluation Institute

A public role requires visibility

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A public role requires visibility

To counter arguments of this kind, the expert panel would argue that it is necessary to raise yet another question of principle in relation to EVA’s role. Whose interests should a state agency like EVA represent?

The EVA Act defines the institute’s responsibilities almost exclusively in relation to the ministries, other agencies and the educational institutions. It says who it may cooperate with, how information is to be circulated and what form official relationships should take. There is no mention of results that could interest students and pupils and hardly anything about the information about quality in various publicly-funded educational sectors needed by their parents, or citizens in general. One section of one paragraph refers to information for and responsibilities to the general public: “EVA is to publish all evaluation reports and inform the general public of its activities”.15

The Act thus makes the institute primarily an internal knowledge bank for the various participants in the educational sector and the relatively unobtrusive and diplomatic media strategy that has been adopted fits in well with this role.

But acting like this, in the opinion of the expert panel, does not do full justice to the work of EVA. The knowledge generated by the evaluations and collected within the institute should be exploited more systematically in a broader public discourse on what quality in the Danish educational system looks like and how it could be developed. With no media attention, however, it is hardly possible to reach out to a wider audience.

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