Case Studies Value-Added School Measures for the Bulgarian Ministry of Education

Schools Global Evaluation and Research


The World Bank is supporting the Bulgarian Ministry of Education in a range of interventions to improve the quality of primary and secondary education.

One of the major issues faced by Bulgaria is the wide disparity between the educational outcomes obtained by students from the strongest schools (typically inner-city grammar schools) and the weakest schools (typically smaller rural schools). This disparity in terms of absolute outcomes can overshadow the progress made by students within those schools: schools with a strong intake can perhaps be expected to produce strong outcomes, and vice versa.

While clearly absolute outcomes are important, a portfolio of school measures which include progress and other factors can provide a broader and more representative dashboard of data on which to base school judgements and inspection planning.

The Ministry engaged the World Bank and our team to support an investigation into how international best practice in value-added (progress) measures could be used fairly and effectively in Bulgaria’s secondary school estate.

What we did

AlphaPlus supported the World Bank in Bulgaria by providing literature reviews and investigations into the appropriate and effective use of school-level value-added measures as part of a portfolio of school performance measures.

Working with a team which included George Leckie of the University of Bristol and Professor Inge de Wolf of Maastricht University and the Dutch Inspectorate, AlphaPlus offered detailed support for the evaluation, feasibility study, design and development of technical value-added measures for school performance measurement and how these measures can be integrated into school monitoring and accountability systems without undesirable effects. This is based on describing best practice approaches in five international jurisdictions and literature reviews and wider experience of effective implementation of value-added measures for school performance monitoring.

Our role

Technical value-added measures for school performance measurement including:

  • design
  • development
  • feasibility study
  • evaluation