The Czech School Inspectorate Organized a Debate on a Proposal to New Evaluation Criteria

The preparation of modified criteria for evaluation of conditions, course and results of education is one of the Czech School Inspectorate´s (CSI) core tasks in a given school year. The first proposal was introduced to professional public on Thursday, the 5th of February, in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports´ (MEYS) conference hall. A model of so-called School Quality was introduced in the framework of which modified evaluation criteria are developed. The Czech School Inspectorate proceeds along these criteria while evaluating all schools and schools facilities registered in the School Register. 

More than one hundred and ten participants attended the meeting representing the Chamber of Deputies of Parliament of the Czech Republic, the European Parliament, the Office of the Government of the Czech Republic, heads of professional school associations, school and school facilities´ headmasters, representatives of school founders, representatives of towns and regions, representatives of private and church school founders, representatives of the Union of Towns and Municipalities of the Czech Republic, representatives of school unions, academic sphere, Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, Centre for the Evaluation of the Results in Education, National Institute of Education, National Institute for Further Education, The Centre for International Cooperation in Education, representatives of the non-profit sector and international guests representing the Standing International Conference of Inspectorates and representatives of the State School Inspectorate in the Slovak Republic and the Polish Kuratorium Oświaty in Katowice.

Representatives of the Czech School Inspectorate and Institute for Research and Development of Education, Faculty of Education, Charles University in Prague successively introduced the model of School Quality and individual criteria for evaluation in the recent phase of their development and also presented further reports concerning the topic of evaluation of quality and effectivity in education. And international insight was given by the President of Standing International Conference of Inspectorates and as well as the President of the Lower Saxony State Institute for Quality Development in Schools.

The discussion was initiated with an introductory presentation delivered by the Chief School Inspector Tomáš Zatloukal who introduced basic rationale for development of a Quality School model and commented on reasons for the Czech School Inspectorate to modify the criteria used up to now. Following presentation was presented by Wulf Homeier, the President of the Standing International Conference of Inspectorates who introduced his experience from inspection system transformation in Lower Saxony. Petr Suchomel, a manager of development of new methods, approaches and tools of the CSI, presented then a Quality School model, possible solutions for the chosen conception of model development, its overall description including substantiation of roles of individual levels and exemplary differences between respective model versions of a Quality School for different school levels and school types. David Greger, the Director of the Institute for Research and Development of Education, Faculty of Education, Charles University Prague, presented his comments on monitoring and evaluation of quality in education from the view point of abroad experience and in comparison with criteria in the framework of European inspection systems. His colleague from the faculty Jana Strakova commented on the importance of criteria designed for pedagogics aimed at pupils´ needs and at the same time she addressed the importance of methodological support. Another academician from the Faculty of Education in Prague Martin Chvál analysed the importance of descriptors of criteria and evaluation scales, unified perception of quality components by individual shareholders in education, development of a data base with good practice examples and the motivation aspect of criteria and evaluation scales. The director of the Zlin regional inspectorate Vlastislav Kožela presented his comments on the draft Quality School model from the view point of inspection practice and he mentioned the importance of continuity in objectives and methods of evaluation and benefits of the Quality School model for field inspection activities. During the conclusive part of the meeting the participants were introduced to further tasks which will be accomplished in the framework of Quality School conception development and relevant criteria for evaluation of schools and school facilities.

The participants of the debate expressed their support to the Czech School Inspection in continually pursued changes of tactics and orientation of inspection activities aimed at enhancing the importance of evaluation of educational processes, conditions, course and results and reducing the importance of formal checks. They also supported the proposed draft Quality School model and criteria for evaluation of conditions, course and results in education and appreciated the benefits of the proposed model for school evaluation as well as for the education system as a whole, with awareness of the fact that the model will be further accomplished with regard to comments and proposals which arose from the debate. The participants also supported the CSI´s intention to develop methods, approaches and tools not only for usage in education assessment performed by the CSI but also for direct practice at a school and they expressed their acknowledgement to the CSI for its recent achievements performed or being performed in this area.       

Participants of the meeting offered the CSI several ideas for further work on the School Quality model as well as for the criteria for evaluation of conditions, course and results of education, and other suggestions were agreed to be sent later electronically. The evaluation criteria will be finalized in the next period of time and they will be discussed during the next professional debate at the end of May/beginning of June. The meaning of such debates is to reach a consensus among representatives of all actors in the initial education on the final form of criteria for evaluation of conditions, course and results of education as well as on the School Quality model which ensures the long-term stability, constancy and use of the criteria not only for the work of CSI but also for self-evaluation of schools or evaluation of schools by their founders.

The first meeting with the professional public on the proposal of criteria for evaluation of conditions, course and results of education was organized in the frame of national debate on School Quality, under the auspices of the Minister of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic, Marcel Chládek. The School Quality model and related criteria for evaluation are developed within the project The National System for the Inspection Evaluation of the Educational System in the Czech Republic (NIQES). The Czech School Inspectorate is an implementer of this project.