This paper examines the current academic and policy literatures concerning school evaluation in primary and secondary education within the OECD countries. First, it provides a typology of the existing systems of school evaluation across the OECD. It encompasses the diverse criteria and instruments commonly used to carry out schools evaluation, as well as the players involved in the design and implementation of school evaluation. It also describes potential consequences for schools. Second, this paper analyses how school evaluation schemes are interrelated with other components of the evaluation framework, such as teacher evaluation and system evaluation. The potential complementarities, duplication and inconsistency of objectives stemming from these interrelations are discussed. Third, this paper presents the advantages and drawbacks of different approaches to school evaluation, the resistance and implementation difficulties resulting from misalignment of interests between different stakeholders, and possible ways to overcome impediments to implementation. Finally, it reviews the quantitative and qualitative evidence available on the impact of different school evaluation schemes on school performance, student learning and the incentives for the teaching staff. It concludes by considering the circumstances under which school evaluation schemes seem to be more conducive to school improvement. The effectiveness of school evaluation schemes relies on developing competencies for evaluation and for using feedbacks. Alignment of stakeholders' interests is also critical to have the support of those being assessed.
December 14, 2009