One of the most critical evaluation debates refers to massive census tests, tests and standardized curricular models in order to measure the quality of education based on standard categories established by the world and business logic, consistent with a Technical rationality that prioritizes measurable and comparable results, over processes and contextual particularities of the various educational environments.
To that extent, the discourse of quality in the educational context enters from industrial and economic contexts in search of ends that do not necessarily contribute to the resolution of the social problems of each context, marginalizing those that due to their characteristics and situations do not they can meet the demands imposed by the measurement models. To that extent, the evaluation is used as a quantitative tool to census and categorize the knowledge and “skills” developed during the training processes at each level, moving away from its characteristic and training possibility. This is the scenario in which the Saber 11 and Saber Pro tests enter as instruments for measuring and categorizing Colombian education.
Recently, the Laboratory of Economics of Education of the Javeriana University (LEE) published a report, published by El Tiempo, on the results of the State tests of higher education students in the area of educational sciences. In this report they suggest that one of the main problems of the educational system would be related to the teacher training process, while the results evidenced in the 2019 Saber Pro tests, by students of careers belonging to educational sciences obtained a score globally below the national average.
However, statements such as these, far from helping to overcome the difficulties of the educational system and to correct the existing gaps from one scenario to another, globalize the contexts and prevent addressing the issue from its multiple edges, since generalization prevents analyzing and addressing the issues. The needs of the educational processes and teacher training programs in the regions, and may bias the taking of government measures and quality policies on teacher training programs, which, far from helping to overcome difficulties, exacerbate them; As happened in 2016 with the issuance of decree 2041 that required undergraduate programs to be accredited under penalty of losing their qualified records, without offering any guarantee so that the required conditions could be generated. In the national context, this implied the closure of the supply of teacher training in various regions of the country and forced the Government to make the conditions more flexible so that many more did not have to close. Finally, the situation also led to the lifting of this mandatory measure in 2019.
An analysis that we propose to the Javeriana University and to those who focus on these results of the Saber tests is a deep look at the contexts, processes, and levels of training of those who are grouped in the area of educational sciences. That the results be analyzed according to these necessary distinctions. A very interesting comparison has even been raised by Icfes itself, carrying out an exercise to estimate the added value of university higher education institutions, analyzing the results of the Saber 11 tests and the results of the Saber Pro tests of the students of an institution in such a way that the contribution of the university in the training processes of its students can be identified. The Icfes has all the information that allows for much more detailed, contextualized analyzes that make visible fundamental variables such as the socioeconomic conditions of our young people.
Discussions on educational evaluation must be broad and careful not to enter hasty conclusions that ignore the multiple elements that influence educational quality and that irresponsibly mark a wrong path for public policies in education, as well as an unfair assessment of the processes training of teachers in Colombia.
Rector, Universidad Pedagógica Nacional