Towards Effective Educational Politics through Improving the Performance Measurement System
Educational field is impelled to increase performance and quality, financial discipline, strategic behaviour and its goals in order to enhance “effectiveness”. As a result the incorporation of private sector management practices into the educational field is taking place. But it is important to notice that a proliferation of private managerial practices into the educational field goes along with a conflict-laden and contradictory process. Education provides an important area of implementation for techniques of performance evaluation aimed at improving the performance of public services. One of the most common conceptual frameworks in measuring organisational performance takes the form of a production function where the educational institution is seen as analogous to a company transforming inputs into outputs and outcomes through a production process. But the problems and the vagueness in determining educational system’s inputs, outputs and outcomes cause difficulties in making political decisions and that is why clear policy prescriptions have been difficult to derive. The purpose of this article is to create a discussion whether performance measurement should be a part of decision-making in educational politics. The authors debate about incorporating private sector management practices into the educational field. The debate is based on the example of evaluating the social impact in the educational field and the performance of teachers’ work in the educational system. The article consists of three parts. Firstly, the theoretical background of the performance measurement in educational field is discussed. Secondly, the important criteria for performance measurement design and political issues are argued. Thirdly, the evaluated shortcomings in Estonian educational organisations, which restrict them to be effective, are brought out. Relieving some of these shortcomings could be in authority of Estonian educational politics.