Intellectual enthusiasm, a playground, God’s work: understanding contractors' rationales in International Large-Scale Assessment (ILSA) contracts



Palabras clave:

Evaluaciones de aprendizaje, contratos de ILSA, préstamo de políticas, etnografía de redes, OCDE, IEA, ILSA


Why are contractors keen to develop, implement, and analyse International Large-Scale Assessments (ILSAs) when they appear to make no financial gains? What makes ILSA contracts so attractive? This paper takes as its starting point the fact that almost all ILSA contractors interviewed stated their ILSA work is an investment, either in the form of a break-even or a loss contract. Applying policy borrowing and lending theory to non-state actors, and analysing 35 interviews with OECD and IEA staff and ILSA contractors, the paper discusses why contractors carry out ILSA contracts or donate to ILSAs. Rationales relate to interests in methodological developments and innovation; research; social responsibility; learning; exposure; prestige; credibility; networks; business opportunities; and individual rationales. The paper identifies parallels with the motives of corporate philanthropy in education. The paper concludes that ILSA contractors are using ILSAs to forward their political agendas, which include growing the learning assessment market.


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Biografía del autor/a

Camilla Addey, Autonomous University of Barcelona

Camilla Addey es becaria Marie Curie en GEPS, el centro de investigación sobre Globalización, Educación y Políticas Sociales del Departamento de Sociología de la Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, España. Anteriormente, Camilla fue profesora de Educación Comparada e Internacional en Teachers College, Universidad de Columbia (EE. UU.) e investigadora en la Universidad Humboldt de Berlín (Alemania). Ha publicado en Comparative Education; Globalización, Sociedades y Educación; Compare: una revista de educación comparada e internacional; Estudios Críticos en Educación; y Evaluación en Educación: Principios, Política y Práctica.


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Cómo citar

Addey, C. (2022). Intellectual enthusiasm, a playground, God’s work: understanding contractors’ rationales in International Large-Scale Assessment (ILSA) contracts. Revista Española de Educación Comparada, (42), 88–108.