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In a recent publication, we analyzed the evolution of learning assessment systems in Latin America during the last decade. It is fair to say that Latin America has continued building the systems that were once started in the nineties. Not only do we not see signs of setbacks, but we actually see signs of improvement and maturity.
Nevertheless, not all news has been positive. Our analysis found that, despite the progress observed, many weaknesses remain. The experience of Latin American countries reconfirms that building an effective learning assessment system – one that informs and supports improvements in the quality of education – is a laborious and complex task, which requires aligning system learning goals, standards, curriculum, and other critical aspects such as teacher training (pre and in service).
Education evaluation is being consolidated in the region and there are clear signs of progress. However, further consolidation is still needed. Making good use of data to improve the quality of education remains the Achilles’ heel of these efforts. The good news is that there are good practices in many countries, from which the entire region can learn. And for those countries that are starting to build their education evaluation systems (in Latin America and elsewhere in the developing world), the lesson is that this is a worthwhile journey that demands a long-term commitment and sustained political support.