Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice Call for Papers - Special Issue

Systemic influences on standard setting in national examinations

Assessment in Education

Guest Editors: Lena Gray and Jo-Anne Baird

Assessing educational outcomes is powerfully enacted through processes of standard setting within curriculum-related examinations. Many countries and jurisdictions use curriculum-related examinations to select learners for higher education, work and other study options. Some countries also use these examinations as tools to measure school system performance; as such, these examinations shape the landscape of senior school education, defining education system quality for learners and for society. 

Given the high stakes nature of these examinations, it is surprising that the ways examination standards are conceptualised and operationalised differently across jurisdictions has not been given sufficient attention. This is an interesting area because globalisation has begun to impinge on examination systems, but public examination standards are still largely a bastion of the local. The meaning of ‘standards’ differs between jurisdictions and the stated value positions and processes relating to examination standards differ markedly. How policy and politics affect standards in different countries has not been articulated well. Further, there is a tenuous relationship between standard-setting theory and the manner in which standards are operationalised by jurisdictions. The under-articulation of the rationales for current examination practices (including standard setting practices) means that they are vulnerable to changes that could be detrimental to the character of education systems. Therefore, a Special Issue that better depicts systemic influences upon examination standard setting processes will be a valuable addition to the literature.

Submission Information

The special issue will examine critically the relationship between examination standard setting and systemic issues such as policy, politics, historical factors, structural aspects of educational systems, culture, disaster response, ontology and epistemology. Please contact the Guest Editors ( or by June 30th, 2018 with a proposed title and abstract if you would like to make a submission.


  • Call for papers open: 1 April 2018
  • Proposal submission deadline: 30 June 2018
  • Review proposals; issue invitations to submit full paper: 30 August 2018
  • Full paper submission to editors for internal review: 31 January 2019
  • Editors’ comments to authors: 31 March 2019
  • Full paper submission to the journal deadline: 31 May 2019
  • Blind peer review; revisions: December 2019
  • Production: January 2020
  • Publication: Anticipated 2020