This chapter investigates how a national-level assessment initiative may improve equity in early years numeracy education, taking the Norwegian mapping tests for primary grades 1–3 as an example. Three assessments, one test for each grade level, were launched in the 2013–2014 school year and have been used every year since. In accordance with Nordic model principles, the test content is available to teachers to ensure familiarity with the test content and the formative use of the assessment outcomes to improve teaching and learning for students identified as at risk of lagging behind. Analysis of student data reveals that, 6 years after the first implementation, no inflation can be seen in test scores. Thus, an exposed assessment may remain robust within an educational system that aspires to transparency, such as the Norwegian one. However, analyses of interview data and achievement data reveal that teachers often struggle to use the assessment outcomes to improve teaching. These results suggest that the initiative to improve equity in primary school numeracy education depends on teachers’ assessment literacy. In accordance with Nordic model principles, schools have significant autonomy and are responsible for identifying professional development needs for their teachers. This research confirms the dilemmas in the Nordic model between national-level and local initiatives and responsibilities.
This item's license is: Attribution 4.0 International