A standards-based approach for reporting assessment results in South Africa
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This article proposes the use of a standards-based approach to reporting results from large-scale assessment surveys in South Africa. The use of this approach is intended to address the key shortcomings observed in the current reporting framework prescribed in the national curriculum documents. Using the Angoff method and data from the Annual National Assessments, the article highlights how standard setting procedures should be conducted to develop meaningful reports that provide users with relevant information that can be effectively used to identify and develop appropriate interventions to address learning gaps. The findings of the study produced policy definitions and performance level descriptors that are proposed for use in enhancing the reporting of results for grade six English and mathematics. Moreover, the findings also indicate that the reporting of the Annual National Assessments using the national curriculum reporting categories overestimates the percentage of learners classified at the lowest performance levels and underestimates those in the next category. This finding has serious implications for the implementation of targeted interventions aimed at improving learning for all. The paper concludes by noting areas of further research for enhancing the use of results of large-scale assessment surveys and for supporting schools and teachers in addressing specific learning needs of all learners, especially the poor and marginalised.