EVA’s mandate is to support and supplement other quality-assurance measures in the entire educational system. This means that EVA’s evaluations and other projects need to be adapted to the changing conditions in each of the educational sectors.
The idea of having a state institution to evaluate the quality of the education offered by individual primary and lower-secondary schools is relatively new for Denmark and was introduced when EVA was established. “We are asking ourselves what significance EVA is going to have,” is what one representative of the primary sector said during the site visit. “They are so new to the work.” During the period 2000-2005 EVA has undertaken 13 action-plan based evaluations24 in the field of primary and lower-secondary education.
The mandate originally given to EVA was explicitly process oriented. Since then political interests have shifted focus to some extent, for instance since evaluations indicated that the level of primary and lower-secondary education in Denmark was not always pre-eminent in international comparisons. In recent years, therefore, greater focus has been placed on educational outcomes and during 2005 the Government announced a change in the current evaluation and quality assurance system. The Government Declaration of February 2005 included the establishment of a new council for evaluation and quality development in primary and lower-secondary education.
monitor and evaluate the development of the levels at which subjects are taught in primary and lower-secondary education (in relation to international experiences)
monitor and evaluate the contributions made by primary and lower-secondary education to eliminating negative social legacies and to greater integration
submit an annual report on quality in primary and lower-secondary education and propose changes.
The council will be supported by a new State Board for Evaluation and Quality Development in Primary Education.25
This new council is intended to have an area of responsibility that coincides with EVA’s. “Here we face strategic considerations”, was the opinion of the Ministry of Education during the site visit. EVA’s mandate may be affected.