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Submitting Assessment Policy Articles to Quality Assurance in Education

Process

Assessment policy articles submitted to QAE are accepted following editorial desk review, two blinded peer reviews and at the discretion of the editors. Authors should select Assessment Policy Article from the list of options in the drop-down menu of the ScholarOne Manuscript submission system.

Topics

Assessment policy articles submitted to QAE could deal with various policy mandates, legislative requirements, or guidelines of national or international agencies, governance bodies or organizations dealing with quality issues in education and educational practices. Articles on controversial assessment policy topics are welcome. For example, these submissions may address assessment policies that impact specific educational programs and projects (e.g., students with disabilities), implementation of national or state educational reforms, school inspection, accreditation,  school efficiency or accountability criteria,  organizational improvements and management processes, as well as indicators of educational quality.  Policy issues discussed could be relevant to any education level, including pre-primary, primary, secondary, higher and professional education.

Criteria for reviewing assessment policy articles

Policy context and theme must be clear

Main focus should be on some national OR international initiative that has implications for education policy and practice in particular regions and that is potentially controversial and unresolved, having more than one side to the issue that needs to be discussed, analyzed and explained. International relevance of the topic must be clear.

Examples:

  • Quality challenges in adopting international assessment programs, like the OECD’s Programme of International Student Assessment (PISA), in developing nations.
  • Intended and unintended consequences of high stakes school inspection mandates in Europe.
  • Federal accountability policies for secondary schools in the U.S.

Format of policy article could vary

  1. Translation of academic, statistical or technical material on policy theme for lay readers and field-based practitioners
    Translates and/or synthesizes original research papers from peer reviewed journals or proceedings of conferences in lay terms. Translates or clarifies legislative requirements and guidelines to facilitate easier implementation by practitioners. 

  2. Opinion piece
    Takes a position on a controversial public policy topic and justifies that position with appropriate literature, applied examples, or historical/ other evidence.

  3. Moderated discussion
    Presents a multi-author discussion of a policy relevant topic from different perspectives, with a moderating author as a co-participant/co-author.

  4. Other innovative formats
    Editors will entertain new formats for policy articles that are likely to engender more discussion and downloads among the readership.

Quality criteria for reviewing ALL policy articles, regardless of theme or format

  • Original sources, when used, are clearly identified (with necessary permissions) and separated from author(s) original contributions or extensions to the article.
  • Audience is clear.
  • Purpose is clear.
  • International relevance is made clear, even when policy is organizational, regional or national.
  • Facilitates easy and quick reading, translates/simplifies dense concepts and is presented in practitioner/ policymaker friendly language.
  • Provides easy to follow examples, graphics, or tables.
  • Provides recommendations to guide next steps in terms of practice and policy.
  • Is shorter in length than typical submission (typically 3000-4000 words). Longer policy papers will be accepted based on topics and editors’ decision.
  • Abstract follows the structure of the standard QAE article abstract, clarifying "what's new" or of value in the article presented and how the article could fill a gap.

    1. Purpose (mandatory)
    2. Design/methodology/approach (mandatory). This section should clarify the format selected, such as, a translational article,  a moderated policy discussion, or opinion piece.
    3. Findings (mandatory)
    4. Research limitations/implications (optional)
    5. Practical implications (optional)
    6. Social implications (optional)
    7. Originality/value (mandatory)