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Re-reading Kazakhstan’s education quality assessment policies through discourses of neoliberalism and… Suleimenova, Aliya Apr 30, 2014

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RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES THROUGH DISCOURSES OF NEOLIBERALISM AND GOVERNMENTALITY         by   ALIYA SULEIMENOVA  M.A. in History, North Kazakhstan State University  A GRADUATING PAPER SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF  MASTER OF EDUCATION in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES  (Educational Administration and Leadership)    The University of British Columbia April 2014     © Aliya Suleimenova, 2014 RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  2                                                                                   List of Abbreviations  CDA   Critical discourse analysis EAAA  External Assessment of Academic Achievement EQA  Education quality assessment IST  Interim State Testing MoES  Ministry of Education and Science RK  Republic of Kazakhstan SPED  State Program for Education Development UNT  Unified National Testing  RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  3                                                                                   Abstract  In Kazakhstan, the extensive use of standardized testing to improve the quality of education and raise schools’ accountability has failed to mitigate the perceived decline in students’ performance and may even be exacerbating it. The paper argues that the country’s educational policies are imbued with overt and hidden discourses of neoliberalism and governmentality. It applies critical discourse analysis to these policies, re-reading their techniques and viewing their texts as heteroglossic. It draws primarily on the recently published Regulation on the External Assessment of Academic Achievement in Educational Organizations (2012), with supplementary data from the Law on Education of the Republic of Kazakhstan (2007), the State Program for Education Development for 2011-2020 (2010), and the Regulation on the Committee for Control of Education and Science (2010). Because the few existing studies on Kazakhstani education policy are written using the dominant, government-approved discourse, this paper contributes to the field by offering a critical perspective. Although it focuses on policy analysis rather than on improvement, the conclusions it draws favour the reconsideration of standardized tests as a means of quality assessment and urge the government to engage with all education stakeholders. The textual analysis also reveals a hidden dialogue between old Soviet and new neoliberal discourses, one that takes the form of either absolute denial of the previous mode or the unacknowledged plexus of the two.  Keywords: education quality assessment, education policies, neoliberalism, governmentality, Kazakhstan, post-Communist  RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  4                                                                                   Table of Contents List of Abbreviations ................................................................................................................................................................. 2 Abstract .......................................................................................................................................................................................... 3 Acknowledgements .................................................................................................................................................................... 5 Introduction  ................................................................................................................................................................................. 6 Methodology ............................................................................................................................................................................. 10 Theoretical Framework and Literature Review .............................................................................................................. 13 Neoliberalism and Education Policy ............................................................................................................................. 14 Governmentality and Education Policy ....................................................................................................................... 19 The Context of Education Quality Assessment in Kazakhstan ................................................................................. 23 The Discourse of Neoliberalism in Education Quality Assessment Policies ........................................................ 28 The Discourse of Governmentality in Education Quality Assessment Policies .................................................. 42 Conclusion ................................................................................................................................................................................. 56 References .................................................................................................................................................................................. 61 Appendix A. Legislative Documents ................................................................................................................................. 68 Appendix B. Structure of the Governmental System of Education Management ............................................... 76 Appendix C. Structure of the National Center for Education Quality Assessment ...................................... 77 RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  5                                                                                   Acknowledgements  Writing a graduating paper is a challenge that could not be undertaken without the support of many people.  I want to express my heartfelt thanks to my supervisor, Dr. Taylor Webb, for his encouragement and guidance throughout the writing process, from introducing me to the concepts of governmentality and neoliberalism to teaching me about micropolitical analysis.  I am also grateful to my pro-term advisors, Dr. Mark Aquash and Dr. Michelle Stack, for their support and advice throughout the program. I want to thank Dr. Peter Seixas, who introduced me to the hermeneutics of Gadamer and the “hidden dialogue” of Wertsch. Along with our in-class and one-on-one discussions, these concepts were very helpful in my textual analysis.  Thanks must also be given to all my professors and classmates for creating an intellectually stimulating environment and engaging in thought-provoking dialogues. Finally, I am grateful to my family for their infinite belief in me and to Bolashak (the Center for International Programs) for the funding to study abroad.               RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  6                                                                                   Re-reading Kazakhstan’s education quality Assessment Policies through Discourses of Neoliberalism and Governmentality  The media, students, parents, communities and even legislators have criticized the system of public education in Kazakhstan for its failure to encourage high academic achievement. The understanding that schools must be accountable for all aspects of education, aggravated by budget cuts, has placed educational institutions at a disadvantage. In reaction, the Ministry of Education and Science (MoES) has mandated the development of a national testing system to increase schools’ accountability and, therefore, education quality. But according to a poll in 2011, 53% of Kazakhstani residents believe that the national tests in their current form do not truly reflect students’ knowledge and therefore must be improved (World Bank, 2012). Moreover, to date, the testing has failed to curtail the defects of the MoES. In the context of these public complaints, education quality assessment (EQA) has become an important issue on the government’s agenda. However, instead of focusing on finding more effective ways to enhance educational outcomes, in its attempts to respond to neoliberalism and globalization while retaining the reins of control, the MoES has developed a national system to measure education quality according to European models and introduced the External Assessment of Academic Achievement (EAAA) guidelines in 2012. Far from attaining the desired goal, the decontextualized adoption of international standards might further jeopardize national education. Although they are opposed to the existing form of testing, educators, students and parents fail to completely grasp the hidden nature of the government’s EQA policies. To critically and reasonably resist these imposed-from-above directives, stakeholders must be aware of their undercurrents. The focus of this paper, therefore, is not on gauging the direct impact of these policies, but on illuminating the state’s hidden intentions and what they mean for schools and for RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  7                                                                                   society. The main subject of this critique is not the testing per se, although the ways it is implemented do not withstand criticism, but its textual construction, its implications and its consequences. As a teacher of history, which is one of the subjects included in the national and regional testing program, my personal experience has informed my negative perception of how the system operates. I believe that reform is urgently needed in the current mode of EQA because of its potential psychological, health, educational, and political consequences for the teachers, the principals, and especially the students it is supposed to serve. The measurement of education quality using imperfect test questions inaccurately assesses both students’ knowledge and teachers’ professional competence. Because they are based on rote memorization and the reproduction of the learning material, the tests encourage mediocre students while marginalizing the talented by ignoring critical thinking and creativity (Moll, 2004). Nonetheless, they have achieved a cult-like status among Kazakhstani education policy makers. My critical stance on the system’s increasingly skilful control of others is also based on my civic position. I believe that we should recognize that the current policies distort and misrepresent the notions of liberty and autonomy in education and obstruct the development of democracy. The increasingly pervasive neoliberal governmentality in Kazakhstani schools constrains the formation of alternative views on EQA. If we wish to establish democratic principles, we must critically re-read the existing national policies. The legislation on education is especially important since it influences the views of the younger generation. The purpose of this paper is to perform a critical discourse analysis (CDA) of the current education quality assessment policies to identify the concepts of neoliberalism and governmentality. The main source document will be the Regulation on the Implementation of RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  8                                                                                   External Assessment of Academic Achievement in Educational Organizations (MoES, 2012). To verify the author’s inferences, recent education policies, such as the Law on Education of the Republic of Kazakhstan (MoES, 2007a), the State Program for Education Development (SPED) for 2011-2020 (MoES, 2010b) and the Regulation on the Committee for Control of Education and Science (MoES, 2010a) will also be consulted. The paper concentrates on the EAAA policy document since as well as being the most recent, it is the one that most clearly exposes how neoliberal globalization and the controversy over Kazakhstani governmentality affect the MoES’s approach to increasing schools’ accountability. Since these documents were issued only in Kazakh and Russian, the author has provided English translations (see Appendix A). It is argued that the current policies on EQA are imbued with overt and hidden discourses of neoliberalism and governmentality, and that instead of their declared goal of liberating the educational system, they are intended to provide higher accountability. It is expected that above all, the CDA will detect the remnants of the previous Soviet regime, which, by interacting with the current discourses, render them inconsistent.  The question this paper aims to answer is how the current education quality assessment policies can be re-read and discussed in terms of neoliberalism and governmentality. The theme will be explored through the following sub-questions: 1. What is the context of education quality assessment in Kazakhstan?  2. How does neoliberalism affect the policies on EQA? 3. What are the discourses of governmentality in EQA policies? Because of Kazakhstan’s dominant post-Soviet mentality, which is characterized by total compliance with and trust in the government, the attitude towards education policy is not as critical as it should be. The use of re-reading is motivated by a personal and professional concern for justice, democracy, educational ethics, and professionalism. It is expected that this paper will RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  9                                                                                   enable the Kazakhstani public to gain a more critical perspective on educational issues and participate more knowledgeably in dialogues. As Bauman states, “Questioning the ostensibly unquestionable premises of our way of life is arguably the most urgent of the services we owe our fellow humans and ourselves” (2000, p. 5). I hope that by developing our awareness of and ability to recognize the intentions behind the government’s imposed agendas, this paper could reshape people’s assumptions about legislative policies in general and education policies in particular. Only a few articles exist on education quality assessment in Kazakhstan. In the English-speaking academic community, Kazakhstan and its education are relatively unknown; sources are limited to a few reports by the World Bank and UNISEF, along with other official documents. Although Western scholars have begun to explore the subject of Kazakhstan, they are primarily interested in its economic or political development, not the assessment of its EQA. While criticism has become a mainstream approach in countries with deep democratic roots, methods that question the government’s policies are not accepted or encouraged in Kazakhstan. Since there are no research studies that critically examine Kazakhstani education policies due to the fact that the scientific community uses a discourse congruent with the governmental concept of uniformity, this paper might contribute to the body of knowledge in this area and establish a critical direction for Kazakhstani policy analysis. To a certain degree, this paper is a commitment to improve the principles that inform education quality assessment policies and to drive reforms for the creation of more effective and appropriate means of EQA. RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  10                                                                                   Methodology  An analytical framework is needed to provide a structure for the EQA policy analysis. The research questions will be discussed using the technique of re-reading, which involves not only closely scrutinizing policy texts, but recognizing the subtle mechanisms of neoliberalism and governmentality that underlie them. It aims to bring attention to some aspects of education policy that society often takes for granted. As Simons, Olssen and Peters (2009) suggest, the strategy of re-reading focuses not only on a policy’s language, but on its rhetorical techniques, power relations and tensions. It often reveals hidden forms of rationality, uncovers latent governmental interests, and points out conflicts between a policy’s stated aims and its consequences.  Re-reading involves the process of de-familiarization. It is important to recognize that policy texts are heteroglossic, and that analysis can detect a “hidden dialogue” in their “multivoicedness” (Hirschkop, 1990; Wertsch, 2002). As Fairclough (1989) puts it: In seeing language as discourse and as social practice, one is committing oneself not just to analyzing processes of reproduction and interpretation, but to analyzing the relationship between texts, processes, and their social conditions, both the immediate conditions of the situational context and the more remote conditions of institutional and social structures. (p. 26)  The education policy texts will be analyzed to discover how they conceptualize governmentality and neoliberalism in a linguistic form. Such an analysis aims to reveal how the MoES in Kazakhstan intends to subjugate education to economic expediency by developing a discourse that maintains obedience to governmental order.  RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  11                                                                                   This paper will employ critical discourse analysis (CDA), since it facilitates both the detailed scrutiny of policies at the textual level and the evaluation of their broader economic, political and institutional contexts (Fairclough, 1995). CDA reveals the hidden power dynamics that are expressed in language, detecting and exploring the relationships between power and knowledge that are embedded in reality. This approach is applied both to the structural analysis of education policies and to their interpretation. The critical approach to education policy is not about solving problems per se. Rather, it seeks to understand how policies “read” global changes and defines problems in a broader context, thereby making it impossible to take them for granted. This paper is an “analysis of policy” rather than an “analysis for policy” (Simons et al., 2009, pp. 19-20), although it also provides some suggestions for EQA improvement. Such an analysis is important, since “to make the naturalness of the present as strange and contingent is a political strategy of change; to make visible the internments and enclosures of the commonsense of schooling is to make them contestable” (Simons et al., 2009, p. 20). An attempt to re-read policy agendas also entails being cognizant of my own role as a critical explorer of policies and the political fabric. Foucault explains that critique is “the art of not being governed like that and at that cost” (2007, p. 45), and the study of the processes of governmentalization is thus often motivated by the desire to become de- governmentalized. I recognize the possible influence of my personal position on my approach to policy analysis. While as a teacher in an elite school for gifted students, I am obliged to perform according to the tenets of neoliberal discourse, and as a recipient of the Presidential International Scholarship, I have benefitted from a product of neoliberal globalization, nevertheless, I have strived through my study of neoliberalism and power relations to maintain a degree of objectivism.  RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  12                                                                                   Some possible limitations might have affected the policy analysis. Because many of the documents had to be translated, some nuances might have been lost. Moreover, it might not be appropriate to use Western theoretical frameworks to discuss education policies in the unique cultural, historical and socio-economic context of Kazakhstan, especially given the influence of its Soviet heritage.               RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  13                                                                                   Theoretical Framework and Literature Review   The literature review will discuss the scope and findings of studies conducted on education policy in the context of the discourses of neoliberalism and governmentality. Based on extensive research, it is apparent that in Kazakhstan, very little has been written on the political dimensions of education quality assessment. There are two main problems with including the existing studies in our CDA. One is that they all rely solely on the government’s annual reports and apply no critical theory to their analysis (Bekishev, 2013). The other issue is that most of these publications are not empirical and their style is popular rather than academic, descriptive rather than analytical (Sadovnichii, 2001; Zhumagulov, 2013). Thus, even these pro-governmental studies might be labelled as having rhetoric of accountability. What research there is on the nature of governmentality in Kazakhstan is related solely to its practice in the political domain (Adams & Rustemova, 2009). Similar studies on neoliberalism focus on its impact on the economic sector and the oil industry (Zhussipbek, 2011; Gleason, 2003). While none of these papers addresses education specifically, some inferences can be drawn from them. Even in other post-Soviet countries, such as Russia and the Ukraine, only a few studies attempt to analyze education policy through the lenses of governmentality and neoliberal discourse (Fimyar, 2008a). This could be explained by the long academic isolation of post-Soviet scholars and the development of different research traditions due to echoes of the Iron Curtain. Because of the dearth of sources on neoliberalism and governmentality in a Kazakhstani or even a post-Soviet context, the following discussion is based on a review of the literature in North America. The application of a Western conceptual framework corresponds to the global trend of critically examining the policies of emerging nations using internationally recognized theories.  RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  14                                                                                   This section aims to define the main directions recent studies of neoliberalism and governmentality have taken to assess their influence on education policy. Neoliberalism and Education Policy  The complexity of neoliberalism determines the multilateralism of the issues discussed by studies on educational research. Most scholars focus on the implications of neoliberalism and the way it reconstitutes education. Like any multifaceted phenomenon, neoliberalism has many definitions. One of the most thorough describes it as: a complex, often incoherent, unstable and even contradictory set of practices that are organized around a certain imagination of the market as a basis for the universalization of market-based social relations with the corresponding penetration in almost every single aspect of our lives of the discourse and/or practice of commodification, capital-accumulation and profit-making (Ball, 2012b, p. 3).  “Cultural hegemony” and ideological propaganda promote neoliberalism as absolutely natural and divinely established, framing it as a world religion with a dogmatic doctrine and legislative institutions (George, 1999). Like George (1999), Larner (2000) states that neoliberalism constitutes a special political ideology based on five principles: individualism, free choice, market rationale, state non- interference, and the minimized role of the government.  Neoliberalism is dualistic: while it reinforces state control, it attempts to avoid incurring financial responsibility in the public sector (Ball, 2012b; Harvey, 2007). As Webb (2005) asserts, when governments establish accountability strategies to control public organizations, they both RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  15                                                                                   centralize and decentralize the state. Foucault, Senellart, & Collège de France (2008) and Gulson (2007) also view neoliberalism as a strategy for governing people through the principles of self-regulation, self-discipline and self-responsibility. The neoliberal concept is guided by the idea that human beings historically and naturally are entrepreneurs of themselves (homo oeconomicus), who are economically self-interested and rational. The state, therefore, just releases their intrinsic authentic essence (Foucault, Martin, Gutman, & Hutton, 1988; Apple, 2004). In other words, neoliberalism represents a transformation from explicit to implicit types of control and employs education policies to create subjects whose behaviour is self-directed and entrepreneurial.  In the neoliberal context, the policy of school choice, complete with managerial strategies, drives educational institutions to enhance their quality and efficiency through competition (Webb, Gulson, & Pitton, 2014; Olssen & Peters, 2005). Neoliberal education policies view parents not as passive objects, but as active economic agents who can choose the most competitive schools in the educational market. Unlike Apple (2004, 2007), Webb et al. (2014) suppose that neoliberal education policies offer greater opportunities to increase an intellectual capital. While Webb et al (2014) affirm that school choice policies reflect selectivity, freedom and equality, encouraging homo oeconomicus to shape schools to his/her personal interests, Apple (2004) argues that freedom and choice are well-designed images that are effectively sold by the government and that people’s decision making is already framed from above. Neoliberalism is criticized for neglecting social issues and democratic values. Apple (2007) refers to Whitty (1997), who warns that it offers false hope for equal access to education. Apple (2004) and Ball, Bowe and Gewirtz (1994) point out that middle-class parents, who have more opportunities, benefit most from neoliberal policies and can increase their socio-economic RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  16                                                                                   capital by educating their children in more competitive schools. While Apple (2007) avers that neoliberal policies produce a re-stratification of society, weakening the position of oppressed and marginalized groups such as immigrants and working-class students, Webb et al (2014) counter that they widen options for such people to obtain an education.  Neoliberalism is constitutive; it has produced audit culture, which Apple (2007) defines as a system that assesses performance. It consists of a society of “auditees”—represented in education by schools, principals, teachers and students—and “auditors,” or different controlling and monitoring bodies. Audit culture is sustained by constant pressure to meet demands and standards imposed from above. Apple (2007) argues that it undermines the ethics of teachers, diminishes their role and degrades them. The effect of audit culture is not the promised decentralization, but total “re-centralisation” and “de-democratisation” (Apple, 2007, p. 15). By invoking the efficiency and economic viability of neoliberalism, governments can legitimize and justify their goals and priorities through education policies and state programs. They have developed a set of policies to ensure schools’ accountability, one of which is education quality assessment through various tests and exams. Apple (2004) posits that instead of improving education, neoliberal EQA policies cause regression and stagnation in schools and constitute performative culture. Neoliberalism is also self-sustaining since it commercializes its own structural elements. For instance, education policy has become a commodity to be traded in the global market (Ball, 2012b), with consultancy or “knowledge companies” (such as Cambridge) offering policy production services. These companies cater to the rhetoric of emerging nation states and their RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  17                                                                                   need to compete in the global educational market. They also advise them on education financing and reform and on developing teaching techniques and competencies. While it leads to the de-politicization of the social and economic domains, neoliberalism makes citizens politically complacent and erodes democratic values. Brown (2003), Apple (2009) and George (1999) point out that much of the neoliberal agenda is concealed from public view and that its political repercussions are obscure. Indeed, people often accept it unquestioningly due to its omnipresence.  Overall, despite the substantial academic research on neoliberalism, a more detailed and thorough analysis is needed to understand and counteract its many hidden social and political implications.  Since we are using neoliberalism as a theoretical framework, our analysis of education policy should overcome “methodological territorialism” to embrace a global perspective (Ball, 2012b; Olssen, O'Neill, & Codd, 2004). The emerging term, “neoliberal globalization” (Ozga & Lingard, 2007; Olssen et al., 2004; Rizvi, 2006), describes the state’s ability to compete in the world arena. Some scholars, however, view globalization not as a natural process, but as a deliberate neoliberal policy (Bourdieu, Poupeau & Discepolo, 2008). The increasing pervasiveness of globalization in education has created the globalized policy field, where legislation from leading countries constitutes an education policy model for the rest of the world. The current relative homogeneity in education policies could be explained by the new phenomena of “migrating”/“travelling” policies and “policy mobility” (Ozga & Lingard, 2007).  Ball (2012b) points out that within the global policy network, national governments are losing their ability to control education, while emerging education agencies, advocacy groups, RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  18                                                                                   policy assemblage companies, think tanks and international organizations, such as the World Bank and the OECD, are establishing so-called “metagovernance” on a global level (Ball, 2012b, p. 10). Conversely, Olssen et al. (2004) emphasize that nation states are not powerless and can act independently as policy makers. While they should be prepared to participate in the global education marketplace, these authors advise local governments to retain specific features of their own education system. Bourdieu et al (2008) concur that national intellectual capital is crucial in resisting the imposition of unjust global trends and in developing autonomous national policies. Some scholars criticize neoliberal practices in the global context because they exacerbate inequality (Bauman, 2000). The adopted policies are often decontextualized and determined by international (often Western) standards, precluding equal competition from developing countries. Luke (2011) further notes that all seemingly effective global education policies ignore individual development and do not establish a model of the citizens they intend to teach. Another pitfall of global policies is their potential to undermine the authority of nation states by introducing strategies and concepts of power from other countries (Ozga & Lingard, 2007). In spite of their different foci, the previously mentioned studies all recognize globalization as an influential discourse that shapes education policy in most nation states. In terms of its impact on education, they cite new ways of development and governance, new actors in policy making, and the formation of competitive educational systems. Almost all of the scholars agree on the need to further investigate the impact of globalization, including “policy borrowing” and the changed role of the state, the global framing of education policy and politics, and the formation of a global policy field, including a critical examination of the adoption of Western policies through the lens of post-colonialism (Tickly, 2001; Ozga & Lingard, 2007).  RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  19                                                                                   Governmentality and Education Policy  Governmentality is a combination of specific rationalities and ideologies with the peculiar mechanisms and tools to govern (Dean, 1999). Though researchers use the verb “to govern” extensively in various contexts, it mainly connotes the art of influencing or subjugating human behaviour. Dean (1999) emphasizes that we assume that governmental policies know what is appropriate conduct for the governed. This establishes a language and theoretical basis for correlations among government, politics, identity and the self, with the relative autonomy of the latter. To govern is to frame the field of probable performance. At the same time, governmentality implies a certain freedom of action and thought among both the governed and the governors to secure the ends of the government (Dean, 1999). Foucault (2000) views the state as an assemblage of governing interrelations and managerial mechanisms aimed at supervision. Government is a form of “conduct of conduct” that controls people through rational and technical strategies (Foucault, 2000, pp. 340-342). By combining “governing” and “mentality” into “governmentality,” Foucault emphasizes the interconnectedness of politics, morality and the constitution of subjects and the state (Lemke, 2007). While Foucault’s concept of governmentality encompasses not only “political technologies” (social regulative functions), but “technologies of the self” (self-governance), the latter are often ignored in education policy research. Many scholars (Dean, 1999; Olssen et al., 2004) highlight that while the state was once a center of governance that held total control and ensured social well-being and human rights, it has become an agency that constitutes an institutional framework for practicing market freedom RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  20                                                                                   and entrepreneurship. The core of governmentality is, as Rose (1999) explains, the opportunity to practice self-governance or act upon others to accomplish certain goals.  Scholars attempt to reconceptualize the notion of governmentality as it has been transformed by neoliberalism. Thus, Gulson (2007) defines neoliberalism as a form of governmentality that instils the idea of human beings as independent, self-directing, decision-making agents. Similarly, Larner (2000) claims that neoliberalism is a type of “market governance” that challenges state regulations and invites new forms of governing. Ball’s vision of governmentality is also neoliberal and relates the enhancement of management techniques with the comparative public assessment of educational organizations (2000). Neoliberalism negatively affects the mechanism of governing and may employ features of an “authoritarian discourse of state management and control” that could operate even in flexible systems (Olssen, 2003, p. 172). Although neoliberalism proclaims minimal governmental interference, decentralization, and privatization, in fact it contributes to the development of a stronger state with stronger structures and more sophisticated regulations. The new managerialism could be defined as the politics of governmentality and normalization. In his definition of a “subject,” Foucault (1995) implies a state of submission, control or dependence; it refers to the self-construction of an identity and knowledge of the self. As Ball and Olmedo explain, “the subject is governed by others and at the same time he is a governor of him/herself” (2013, p. 87). Dean (1999) also supposes that governmentality is mainly based on the “truth” of how subjects see themselves. For Foucault, neoliberalism is “an art of government or form of political reason” (Olssen & Peters, 2005, p. 316). Scholars cite various strategies that are employed to sustain RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  21                                                                                   governmentality. In their investigation of the neoliberal mechanisms of education, Ball and Olmedo (2013) describe how teachers are subjugated and subjugate themselves to become entrepreneurs of themselves. They note that stakeholders are often unconsciously normalized and disciplined by the neoliberal discourses of constant competition and performative culture. This tendency causes the substitution of professional accountability with performativity and fabrication (Ball, 2003).  Lemke (2007), in analysing the Foucauldian heritage, points out that the state employs knowledge and technologies, such as examinations and evaluations, that “make objects visible and render them into calculable and programmable form” (p. 48). Rose (1999) also assumes that in the twenty-first century, subjectivity is more sophisticated and requires a new set of languages, inspecting organizations, and systems to calculate human capacities and detect deviations from the assigned rules. The modern state, as Foucault (2000) observes, is not located above individuals, but integrates them into its structure on the condition that they follow the designed managerial order. References to the Foucauldian heritage help to unveil ambiguities that are concealed by sophisticated policy language, thereby uncovering alternative “regimes of truth” (Tikly, 2004, p. 192). Some scholars highlight the power of policy language to control our ideology and shape our minds to make them governable (Dean, 1999; Trowler, 2003). Power is sustained by knowledge. Foucault discusses exams and tests as normalization strategies and techniques of power. This power is dualistic in nature, homogenizing and differentiating objects through the power of numbers and statistics (Ball, 2012a; Rose, 1999). Thus, data collection and statistics create a form of governing and enable the establishment of a new global knowledge economy. Indeed, RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  22                                                                                   numerical data have become a core part of the shift from government to governance (Ozga & Lingard, 2007). Because of neoliberalism’s ubiquity and complexity, the main emphasis in education policy research should be on de-familiarization (Foucault, 2000; Deleuze, 1986; George, 1999). Its goal should be to look beyond what is familiar and therefore imperceptible (Foucault, 1980). It is also essential to delineate a governmental “cartography” (Deleuze, 1986) that defines the current discourse. Rose (1999, p. 20) suggests adopting a critical perspective on phenomena that are presented as natural, eternal, divine and unquestionable, but that actually fortify the governing regimes. While Ball (2012a) is sceptical about the possibility of deconstructing neoliberal governmentality, Foucault suggests that we must realize that the deconstruction of a new “politics of truth” is possible through the examination of the imposed policies (Foucault, 2000). By analyzing neoliberalism and governmentality as discourses that frame education policy, researchers can expose the subtle changes occurring in education today. Kazakhstani education policy analysis might act as a potential cognitive model for studying the effects of these ideologies.  RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  23                                                                                   The Context of Education Quality Assessment in Kazakhstan  A brief introduction to the Kazakhstani education system is required to understand how the prioritization of education quality assessment is changing in response to discourses of neoliberalism and governmentality. Etymologically, “Kazakhstan” means “a country of people, valuing freedom” (Surucu, 2002). In a tragic twist of irony, it was a colony for almost three centuries. Since its independence in 1991, Kazakhstan has attempted to implement its own mode of democratic governance. While it has reacted against the authoritarian nature of its past, it still retains some elements of the Soviet legacy of weak opposition to the government and uncritical acceptance of its policies. As an instrument for propagating ideologies, education policy has been profoundly affected by both of these political systems (Olcott, 2010). After Kazakhstan became independent, it reorganized the old Soviet education system to be more comparable with the international model (MoES, 2010b). Primary education (grades 1-4) lasts for four years and is preceded by one year of pre-school. Secondary schooling is divided into basic general (grades 5-9) and senior-level education (grades 10-11 or 12), which consists of either continuing general education or professional education. While Kazakhstan is considered to be at the forefront of educational reform among Commonwealth of Independent States countries, with a high rate of literacy and a relatively low student-to-teacher ratio of 18:1, it still experiences problems due to a lack of funding and professional teachers, and disparities in quality between rural and urban, Russian- and Kazakh-language schools (UNICEF, 2007). Kazakhstani education policy makers see their role primarily not as enhancing educational programs, but as establishing a system that ensures that the new reforms are implemented and guarantees a high quality of teaching and student achievement. In line with global trends, the RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  24                                                                                   MoES believes that the best way to do this is via the assessment of students’ academic progress through testing and has introduced it at different levels of education.  The Kazakhstani National Testing System, which was originally designed to determine students’ level of proficiency in various subject areas, is increasingly becoming a political tool of accountability. The MoES and its subordinate institutions are responsible for collecting and monitoring the test results at the school, district, city, regional (provincial), and national levels to facilitate the widespread comparison of student achievement.  The MoES’s first attempt at EQA, Unified National Testing (UNT), was introduced in 2004 for all grade eleven students. Implemented by the Committee for Control of Education and Science and the National Testing Center, it has become the exam that determines both high school graduation and university admission (MoES, 2004; MoES, 2008). It also awards grants for free higher education to the best students. The examination covers four compulsory subjects (the Kazakh and Russian languages, mathematics, and Kazakhstani history) and an optional one. The results are issued in official governmental newspapers and are posted on university websites. Advocates of the UNT believe that it prevents corruption, fosters objectivity and is inexpensive. However, its double function jeopardizes students’ ability to graduate and thus delays their enrolment in university until the following year.  Stakeholder groups have questioned the effectiveness of the UNT. Parents, students and the media have objected to the inadequate quality and validity of the test items, which rely heavily on rote memorization. In a recent survey conducted by Kazakhstan Today (2012), the vast majority of respondents stated that the UNT is not an objective assessment of students’ knowledge. To improve the quality of the test, the MoES plans to pilot a two-stage UNT examination model: a National (school-leaving) Exam, which is intended to assess students’ functional literacy and logic, and a Complex (university entrance) Exam, which will include RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  25                                                                                   various subject tests that are aligned with possible postsecondary programs. This remodelling of the UNT, however, is unlikely to improve education quality, and its complexity could both exacerbate current problems and create new ones. An additional EQA system was the Interim State Control (MoES, 2007b), which was performed in grades four and nine in public schools and in second-year university. In the interest of greater accountability, if an educational organization failed to obtain the minimum required results, as defined by the MoES, it had to undergo additional state accreditation. In 2012, the ISC was replaced by the External Assessment of Academic Achievement (EAAA). Since this policy is the most recent and the most contested, it is the main object of critical discourse analysis in this paper.  The EAAA was authorized by the Law on Education (MoES, 2007a, amended 2012), initiated by the SPED for 2011-2020 (MoES, 2010b), developed by the Regulation on the EAAA Implementation in Educational Organizations (MoES, 2012), and monitored by the Committee for Control of Education and Science. This legislative base might be seen as exemplifying the government’s initiative to align education with globalization and neoliberalism.   The Law on Education (MoES, 2007a), a formal policy document that regulates the field, defines the responsibilities of different educational entities, determines the principles of state education policy, and seeks to uphold the constitutional right to education of all citizens, foreigners and permanent residents. To provide a legislative foundation for introducing EAAA into schools, the law was amended to recognize this new form of testing (MoES, 2007a, article 55).  The need to establish the external assessment of academic achievement was elaborated in the State Program for Education Development (SPED) for 2011-2020, which is part of the General National Strategic Plan of Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Its mandate RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  26                                                                                   (MoES, 2010b) asserts that the primary goals of education are to increase competitiveness and to form human capital for sustainable economic growth. As a strategic plan, it describes the state initiatives for each type of education, with clearly expressed targets and the dates by which they must be achieved.  The Regulation on EAAA Implementation (MoES, 2012) gives detailed instructions on how EAAA should be conducted in schools, delineating the policy’s goals, the students to be examined, and the required subjects. The primary aim of EAAA is to monitor the quality of educational service providers on a permanent and systematic basis and thus hold schools accountable. It measures students’ familiarity with four subjects at the end of basic secondary school (grade nine), and again in the fourth year of postsecondary programs. In its organizational section, it emphasizes discipline through statements on students’ expected behaviour during the exam.   The Committee for Control of Education and Science was created to implement the modernization of Education Quality Management and regulate the process of EAAA. Its responsibilities are listed in the Regulation on the Committee for Control of Education and Science (MoES, 2010a), which defines its governing principles and its rights and credentials. Conducting state testing and ensuring educational organizations’ compliance with set standards fall within its purview. The EAAA operates independently of other EQA monitoring organizations. The results do not have any legal or organizational consequences for schools, but because they are published, research centers can use them to draft educational statistics and rankings. The EAAA indexes are included in teachers’ portfolios when they apply for a job in a higher category; thus, EAAA is seen as an instrument to link students’ performance with teachers’ competence. RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  27                                                                                   All of these policies, although different in their form, audience and character, are united around the statutory goal of enhancing education quality by assessing students through standardized testing. The expansion of the National Testing System and the emergence of new centers for education quality monitoring indicate the increased importance placed on EQA. As Kazakhstan has begun to compete in the international educational arena, the pressure to improve test scores and achieve higher rankings is changing the country’s education policy.                    RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  28                                                                                   The Discourse of Neoliberalism in Education Quality Assessment Policies  Kazakhstan’s education policies reflect the transition from a strictly planned administrative economy to capitalism, which, in this post-Communist society, exists not in its classic Western form, but in an ambiguous combination with the fossils of the still influential Communist regime (Holmes, 2006). Neoliberalism, which is still alien to the Kazakhstani context, is a top-down government-initiated policy agenda. Nazarbayev (1997) pursued an “economy first, politics second” approach to the country’s reforms, pointing out that “the market is democracy based on rigorous financial accountability.” However, after the global financial crisis, the government changed its course from free-market to “regulated capitalism,” implying that it will intervene in important domains to prevent the negative impact of neoliberal trends (Zhussipbek, 2011). The emergence of neoliberal governmentality makes it difficult to consider these phenomena separately; therefore, some of these points may be repeated in both chapters. Discourses that have emerged in one field, such as socio-economics, may be recontextualized in another. Recontextualization is inherently contradictory since it could represent either the colonization of a weaker field by a more dominant one or the selective adoption by certain groups of actors of an external discourse that contributes to the accomplishment of their goals (Fairclough, 2013). As such, the MoES could be seen as recontextualizing neoliberal, economically inflected discourse to pursue its own ends, while it could also be interpreted as having been “colonized” by this discourse. Using CDA, this section attempts to re-read EQA legislative documents to identify the interplay of contradictory discourses and the way they are recontextualized by the MoES.  RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  29                                                                                   One of the main effects of neoliberalism on Kazakhstani education policies is the reconstruction of the notions of “education quality” and its assessment through the economization of the goals and values of the educational system. The current policies view the aim of education not as the development of students’ capacities, but primarily as the creation of human capital through appropriate “educational investments” (Foucault, 2008, p. 229). For example, the SPED (MoES, 2010b) asserts that one of the state’s aims is to “develop human capital through ensuring access to quality education for sustainable economic growth” (p. 2). This emphasis on productivity is congruent with the new neoliberal focus of the country’s entire National Strategy. For example, the goal of the Strategy of Industrial and Innovation Development for 2003-2015 (Government of the RK., 2003) is stated as “driving [the] growth of labour productivity [by] at least 3 times by 2015.” Thus, education is seen as one of the means to achieve this goal. A CDA of education policies shows how their language, speech patterns, and ethical concepts like “justice,” “professionalism,” and “equality” have been co-opted by neoliberal discourses of efficiency, entrepreneurship, profitability, and performativity. New policies speak the language of economics, using words like “client,” “consumer,” “entrepreneurship,” “education management,” “compensation,” “education grants,” “issuing licenses,” “public-private partnership” (MoES, 2010b, p. 4), “education loan,” and “voucher based modular training system” (MoES, 2007a, articles 5.8, 9.61, 9.62). Moreover, the title of the policy on EAAA deliberately uses the word “achievement” (which in Russian translates as “excellent performance”) rather than “results,” implying that only the highest grades are valued. Indeed, achievement is a specific imperative imposed psychologically on students, teachers and educational organizations. The employment of complex economic terms with which readers might be unfamiliar could be seen as a “stealth approach” that creates inconsistent, publicly non-RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  30                                                                                   discussed legislation with a neoliberal agenda (Basu, 2004, p. 632). In addition, many amendments to the main legislation may have gone unnoticed by the general public.  The order of articles and statements within the policies illustrates the nation’s educational priorities. Among the eleven aims listed by the SPED, the “development of new mechanisms of education financing” comes first (MoES, 2010b). This signifies that monetary considerations serve as a key determinant of education quality reform. Moreover, the SPED (MoES, 2010b) emphasizes the importance of modernizing education in accordance with the demands of society and the “labour market.” It places personal needs last, using hackneyed phrases that seem to be an afterthought (p. 3). Moreover, in the introduction to the SPED (MoES, 2010b), the economic benefits of education are mentioned first, though it later adds that “education provides other social benefits” (p. 7). This neoliberal language deliberately downplays social issues. The implications of prioritizing financial “effectiveness and efficiency” over social responsibility include investing only in projects guaranteed to increase profitability, which could lead to neglecting programs for students with disabilities, orphans, and other marginalized groups that could pose “potential economic risks.” By making democratic values, social responsibility and encouragement of active citizenship its least important objectives, the SPED (MoES, 2010b) implicitly declares the supremacy of neoliberalism. EQA is implemented through the efficient management of educational organizations, which the policies compare to profit-making entities. The perception of educational organizations as enterprises is seen in the SPED (MoES, 2010b) and in the Law on Education (MoES, 2007a). In an educational context, the phrase, “system of risks,” implicitly assesses schools on the basis of profitability and the possibility of bankruptcy (MoES, 2010b). The inclusion of terms like “prioritizing students’ interests” and “public concerns” merely serves to obscure the policies’ real RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  31                                                                                   neoliberal intentions by presenting their aims as socially just (MoES, 2010b). This strategy of using empty but lofty words to gain public approval recalls the tactics of Soviet legislation. In other words, though policy makers reject their Soviet heritage, the means of policy making remain the same. This “hidden dialogue” between the apparently contradictory discourses of Communism and neoliberalism could be defined as “denial in continuity” (Wertsch, 2002). Ball et al. (1994) emphasize that education quality is determined by the market rationale that permeates current education legislation: from enrolment to ranking, from the consumerist mentality of educational actors to schools’ and teachers’ performativity. EQA policies reflect the “rationality of the use of funds” and the “overall efficiency of [the] education system” (MoES, 2007a, article 55). The mission of EQA is articulated in economic terms as “evaluating educational quality, [the] efficient use of funds allocated for education and the overall efficiency of the education system (MoES, 2007a, article 55). The introduction of testing at different levels is justified by its economic viability: at a relatively low cost, the government can obtain comparable data for monitoring and subsequently improving learning programs. An analysis of education policy also reveals the establishment of audit culture, which provides control through a network of monitoring organizations: the National Center for Education Statistics and Assessment, the National Center for State Educational Standards and Testing, and the Committee for Quality Control in Education and Science. These auditors are empowered to “control compliance with legislation,” “organize and conduct testing,” and “issue licenses” (MoES, 2010a). Obliged to perform according to the demands and standards imposed by audit culture, teachers, students and schools constitute the body of “auditees” (Apple, 2007).  RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  32                                                                                   The policies on EQA explicitly prioritize science and mathematics. The SPED assigns target indicators only in these areas, which will be taught using innovative technologies and foreign textbooks. This objective has neoliberal implications: like other national and international tests, the EAAA favours subjects that foster economic development, while undervaluing civics and the arts due to their non-profitability. This neglect of art programs, which contribute to the development of critical thinking and civic engagement, may have far-reaching consequences for democracy (George, 1999). The belief, grounded on the prioritization of rationality and efficiency, that education should be “results oriented” (MoES, 2010a, p. 30) is also self-destructive, considering that the EAAA (MoES, 2012) and the SPED (MoES, 2010b) measure educational outcomes using standardized tests that rely on memorization. Neoliberal discourse thus upholds an education system that does not develop students’ intellectual abilities. The Soviet educational model, even though it is ostensibly diametrically opposed to neoliberal management practices, produced similarly docile students who lacked critical thinking skills. The current results-oriented policies of “education management” could therefore be defined as practising “denial in continuity.”  Moreover, instead of dispelling inequality, neoliberalism exacerbates it (Apple, 2009). While they are seemingly socially just, the current education policies, which are driven by the neoliberal encouragement of optimization and competitiveness, actually increase social disparities (Basu, 2004). EAAA (MoES, 2012), like other testing policies, promotes competition, which by nature cannot be equal. Different levels of funding, social support, access to libraries and the Internet, parental involvement, competent teachers and many other factors create great discrepancies between different types of schools: rural and urban; those in the capital and those in the provinces; public and private; Kazakh and Russian language based; lyceums/gymnasiums for RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  33                                                                                   gifted students and comprehensive, ungraded schools. Despite these differences, the EAAA neglects the principle of differentiation and suggests one standard format for everyone. The Regulation on the Committee for Control of Education and Science (MoES, 2010a) sustains this indifference to context by affirming that the testing of educational organizations should be “unified and conducted regardless of ownership or departmental affiliation” (§6). It is planned that by 2015, EAAA will be computer based, although not all rural schools and students have access to computers or the Internet. By seeking to follow the directives declared in the SPED (MoES, 2010b) and the Law on Education (MoES, 2007a), and ostensibly adhering to the principles of equality and democracy, the MoES actually hurts students by offering a non-differentiated test that does not reflect their individual circumstances. As Apple observes, the neoliberal image of democracy has a “cynical” character (2007, p. 18). The EAAA (MoES, 2012) and similar policies propagate a vicious circle: if a school achieves good results, it gains more students; this leads to increased support from communities and local authorities, more financial resources, and hence, a greater chance of performing even better during the next test. Conversely, schools with low student enrolment get fewer investments and therefore become permanent outsiders in the educational marketplace. In addition, schools are reluctant to accept students labelled as having learning difficulties since they often decrease their EAAA indexes. In neoliberal terms, these pupils are deemed “non-profitable”. Gifted and talented students, conversely, are targeted by educational organizations for their financial rather than their intellectual capabilities (Apple, 2007). International competition, presented by the Communist regime as an ideological struggle against the “malicious capitalist world,” has now gained the status of an effective strategy for improving education quality; international standards are recognized as models to imitate. Thus, RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  34                                                                                   neoliberalism shifts the concept of competition from being grounded on Communist ideology to being grounded on economic viability: it is effective if it is financially rational and benefits the participants. Collective interests are transformed into competitive relationships. Moreover, state initiatives are full of slogans such as “a competitive nation” and “a competitive country” (Nazarbayev, 2006; 2007). As Marginson states,  Increased competition is meant to increase responsiveness, flexibility and rates of innovation … increase [the] diversity of what is produced and can be chosen … enhance productive and allocative efficiency … improve the quality and volume of production … [and] strengthen accountability to students, employers and government. (1997, p. 5)  The establishment of competitive culture in education is viewed as essential. “For the purpose of enhancing [the] prestige of teaching” and to “form [a] positive image of a teacher,” the MoES runs various regional and national “Teacher of the Year” competitions (MoES, 2010b, p. 29). Moreover, EAAA results may be “employed by organizations conducting ranking research” (MoES, 2012, § 2, §16). By informing parents/customers which schools their children should enrol in based on the numbers, EAAA and other types of tests are paving the way for the commodification of education. Although it might be expected that national and international competition would encourage schools to diversify their curricula and enhance educational programs, competitiveness does not necessarily lead to improved education quality. Some schools that have a reputation for success do not need to be efficient or responsive; moreover, elite schools  might select students via entrance exams (Olssen & Peters, 2005). From the primary level onwards, students must engage in academic competition; they may be threatened with expulsion if they jeopardize the RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  35                                                                                   school’s ranking. In other words, by encouraging competition, the EAAA policy normalizes power. This becomes even more important in the context of the target indicator or “per capita financial mechanism” (MoES, 2010b, p. 25). This mechanism might intensify competition, creating a regulative discourse that leads to increased accountability and control (Olssen & Peters, 2005).  Although the SPED (MoES, 2010b) seeks to enhance the status of teachers, it actually weakens it by making them more accountable. EAAA and other tests eliminate professional responsibility, replacing it with the imperative to comply with market demands. As Webb et al. (2014) put it, neoliberal education is a “disciplinary and reproductive machine” (p. 40). In trying to improve education by introducing standardized testing, the MoES has, as Gillborn and Youdell (2000) remark, strayed far from its original intent. Teachers, who depend on EAAA results, now concentrate on training their students for the test instead of on general instruction. Unconsciously accepting the rules of neoliberalism, they view their students as investments of their energy and professionalism, rationalizing their teaching strategy and paying more attention to those whose EAAA results might be higher. Performativity is a powerful tool of neoliberal management (Ball, 2000). It shapes educational activities towards the attainment of higher measurable outcomes for both school and national performance. As Apple (2007) asserts, there is an evident shift in the focus of teaching from students’ interests to their academic performance. This new order often collides with the beliefs of the majority of teachers, who were educated along Soviet lines. Throughout the SPED (MoES, 2010b) and the Law on Education (MoES, 2007a), the repetition of words like “readiness,” “competitive,” “successful,” and “achievement” indicates the establishment of performativity as a new socio-cultural construct. Ball (2012a, p. 32) defines it as an act intended RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  36                                                                                   to impress someone else, as the “commodification of the public professional”; the institutionalization of such acts could distort the ethics of teaching and change the notion of professional responsibility.  Apple (2004) warns that instead of engaging in the learning process, teachers spend their time and energy on establishing or sustaining an image of success at any cost. These EQA policies, instead of giving teachers autonomy in choosing learning programs, implicitly force them to decontextualize the curriculum in accordance with the standardized tests. By pressuring schools to achieve higher results, these policies distort the authentic processes of teaching and learning and prevent the reform of the educational system. Therefore, the EAAA (MoES, 2012), the SPED (MoES, 2010b), and the Law on Education (MoES, 2007a) are dualistic and contradictory. While they aim to establish an effective, results-oriented educational system, they do so by combining outdated methods of control (standardized testing) with neoliberal management, two concepts that militate against each other. While Soviet education policies viewed teachers as a mass rather than as individuals, their post-Soviet counterparts are personally oriented, seeking to reveal and develop the discrete potential of the self. According to the SPED (MoES, 2010b), educational reform is grounded on the stimulation and development of new individual characteristics: “self-cognition, self-determination, and self-realization.” While the Communist regime rejected self-orientation as egocentrism, self-direction is now the ultimate virtue. However, even though neoliberalism praises these values, its insistence on new forms of control has limited their expression.  Neoliberal EQA policies reflect a discourse that encourages the formation of entrepreneurial and differentiated selves. To produce students that can contribute to the economic RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  37                                                                                   development of the nation, the teacher must become a sort of “neoliberal homo oeconomicus, an active producer of capital” (Webb et al., 2014). To Foucault et al. (1988), teachers are not only producers; they are entrepreneurs of themselves. The SPED’s (MoES, 2010b, p. 27) suggested “voucher-module system of financing” for professional development is in line with this concept. Personally directed to a teacher, the voucher encourages to become an entrepreneur of him/herself through managing funds and caring for the self, with the ultimate opportunity for a pay raise. This represents an interplay between two discourses: the neoliberal management of money and the governmentality discourse of differentiating teachers according to their skills and increasing their accountability and self-discipline. Within this interaction, a hidden feature of Soviet education management could be identified: teachers’ decision to improve their pedagogical practice is imposed from above, instead of being based on their internal motivation. That the policy retains the language of these Soviet management values, such as stating that its purpose is “for the control and stimulation of training quality” (MoES, 2010b, p. 27), backs up this assumption.  The SPED (MoES, 2010b) ostensibly allows parents to become involved in education management (p. 15). It does not, however, give detailed information on how this can be implemented. Like their Soviet predecessors, the current policies are declarative, though they are written to persuade readers of their efficiency. The SPED (MoES, 2010b) and the Law on Education (2007a) emphasize the MoES’ contribution to school diversification so that parents can exercise their right to choose. However, this option is artificial and the scope of choice has already been framed by neoliberal standards.  The neoliberal approach has created a new type of government that relies heavily on statistics and data. The language of the EAAA (MoES, 2012) and the SPED (MoES, 2010b) has RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  38                                                                                   become more rationalized through numerical application. To achieve high measurable outcomes, these policies employ the neoliberal strategies of “government by numbers” (Rose, 1999) and “steering by evaluation” (Ball, 2012a). Education governance is increasingly linked with data collection and performance indicators, which in reality leads to the development of policy as numbers (Rose, 1999). The SPED (MoES, 2010b), for example, seeks to express academic achievement through higher positions in international comparative surveys and through concrete rankings in international tests. All educational targets are depicted in comparable chronological tables as numbers and percentages (MoES, 2010b, pp. 17-18). The need to improve education management, educational monitoring and national education statistics stems from this consideration for international requirements (MoES, 2010b, p. 29).  To improve education quality, new figures have appeared in the school system. As Basu (2004) states, it has become neoliberal practice to hire advisors and consultants. However, these professionals, although they are defined in the SPED (MoES, 2010b) as an “essential element of Public Partnership” in facilitating educational management, are not volunteers or elected representatives of the school community as they should be. In actuality, they serve not as advisors but as appendices to the statutory mechanism, controlling rather than assisting schools to improve results as the policy intended. This practice represents one more unreasonable attempt to apply Western models to Kazakhstani education without contextualizing them. New quangos (quasi-autonomous non-governmental organizations), such as the Kazakhstan Institute for Strategic Studies, the National Analytic Center, the Institute of Economic Research, the National Center for the Assessment of the Quality of Education, the Independent Kazakhstan Quality Assurance Agency in Education, and the Information-Analytic Center, have been established to provide independent evaluation and research, but since they are funded by the government, they RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  39                                                                                   are a priori limited in their autonomy and subjected to neoliberal views on education. The new educational bodies that pay tribute to neoliberal global trends in fact fail to function appropriately, keeping the old order at the core of their operations. Throughout these education policies can be detected the ambiguous combination of two discourses, since while they introduce neoliberal approaches, they retain their former administrative character. By re-reading education policies as heteroglossic texts, a hidden dialogue emerges from their oxymoronic language, in which the old Soviet rhetoric of “controls” and ”impos[ing] sanctions” conflicts with neoliberal verbs like “manages” and “encourages” (MoES, 2010b). Policy analysis cannot be limited strictly by national boundaries. In 2007, Kazakhstan became a member of the IAEA (International Association of Education Assessment). Many innovations in independent external assessment have been “borrowed” from the models of other countries, including systems of ranking and testing at different levels. Globalization has significantly affected the criteria and principles of education policies. Textual analysis shows that globalist terms pervade their goals: to “make [students] more compatible in the world arena,” to achieve “compliance with the global criteria of educational quality” and “learning from examples of good practice,” to educate citizens to “ensure success in a rapidly changing world,” and to develop “competitive” human capital (MoES, 2010b, p. 2)  The education policies of developing countries draw heavily on international standards and “successful models of education” (MoES, 2010b), while superficially acknowledging national differences and cultural diversity. Kazakhstan follows this trend, introducing international indexes elaborated by the OECD. According to SPED (MoES, 2010b) targets, 70% of educational programs must comply with international requirements by 2020. The SPED RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  40                                                                                   (MoES, 2010b) even indicates that meeting the expected targets on international tests is an essential element of the nation’s educational strategy.  The MoES is eager to establish Kazakhstan’s international reputation. It publicized the results of UNESCO’s 2009 global monitoring report on national achievement in EFA widely in the Kazakhstani mass media, according to which the country ranked first among 129 others on the index of educational development, leaving Japan, the UK, and Germany behind (World Bank, 2012). This self-aggrandisement could be seen as a way for the MoES to justify its chosen strategy, get public acceptance in assessing education policy, and reassure taxpayers that it is using their money wisely. While there are many other global reports on EQA, they are not well advertised since they might dispell the image of the MoES as an efficient governmental body whose performance is recognized by authoritative international organizations.  This irrational adherence to, or even obsession by, global trends might obscure the national character of Kazakhstani education. The “successful” models being emulated are rooted in Western contexts and are therefore less likely to be effective in other settings. In the nineteenth century, Kazakhstani education was colonized by the Russian educational model, the dominance of which endangered the nation’s culture and language. It is possible to assume that the MoES is voluntarily following in the same footsteps. Through a CDA that re-reads Kazakhstan’s education policy texts as heteroglossic, it becomes clear that the discourses of the Soviet and post-Soviet periods are involved in a hidden dialogue. Thus, the Soviet discourse of cooperation is replaced by the new neoliberal discourse of competition; isolation and denial of Western values by their eager acceptance; collectivism by individualism; governmental security and assured well-being by the concept of self-care; and the rejection and persecution of market values by their encouragement in state policy. The interplay RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  41                                                                                   between these discourses proves the controversial nature of transitional education policies. While at first sight, these policies seem to represent a denial of the previous system, in many cases, they actually follow the same patterns (Wertsch, 2002). Although they are mainly influenced by the external forces of globalization and neoliberalism, they are also marked by the Soviet heritage. In other words, it is possible to discover their “multivoicedness.”  As Gulson maintains, “Neoliberalism does not exist in a single, ’pure’ form, but is always articulated through historically and geographically specific strategies of institutional transformation and ideological rearticulation” (2007, p. 183). Kazakhstani education policies could develop in two ways. If the nation continues to adopt the standards of neoliberalism and globalization to survive in the international educational arena, it might lose its national character and be left on the sidelines. Conversely, it might choose to build a system based on the best practices of its own Kazakh, Russian and Soviet past, while making reasonable efforts to adapt to international demands. To resist the negative influence of neoliberalism, however, the state must have sufficient political, financial, and human capacities (Ball, 2012a) and a strong democratic culture (George, 1999). Since Kazakhstan is just beginning to achieve democracy and real autonomy, taking the neoliberal approach seems easier. Apple believes that an alternative to the external imposition of standards, educational quality assessment criteria, and measurable outcomes—one that still provides public accountability—can be achieved through the critical analysis of the existing unjust discourses (2007, p. 23). This, however, might be difficult to do in the context of the “emerged governmentality” discussed in the next section.  RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  42                                                                                   The Discourse of Governmentality in Education Quality Assessment Policies  This study employs the Foucauldian concept of governmentality as the main mode of policy analysis. One of its possible limitations, however, is that this approach was developed for states with deep democratic roots, and, therefore, might not apply as well to post-Communist countries. Thus, in Kazakhstan, the practice of governmentality could be characterized as a contradictory symbiosis of the external factors of globalization and neoliberalism with local internal factors, such as the lack of authentic democracy, the transformation from Communism to a new ideology where the state still dominates the policy-making process, and the Soviet mentality (Olcott, 2010). A paradox of the discourse of post-Communist governmentality in education policy is its dualism in combining external, poorly rooted democratic notions with strong state control. In the context of a post-Communist country, this might be defined as “an emerging governmentality,” or a political rationality that employs neoliberal language while retaining past practices (Fimyar, 2008a, p. 573). Indeed, the Kazakhstani educational structure is still very centralized (Bekishev, 2013). Political regimes in post-Communist countries are often described as “faking democracy” with artificial opposition and illusive political pluralism (Cummings, 2005; Olcott, 2010; Fimyar, 2008a), and Kazakhstan’s policies on EQA show this clearly. The Foucauldian concept of discipline and the belief in educational improvement through surveillance and control are at the core not only of its EQA policies, but of the entire state system, which is governed by the Law on State Control and Surveillance (Government of the RK, 2011). This law provides a legislative basis for state control and monitoring and creates the common principles of performance for inspection and observation. No wonder that within the logic of state control, education follows this direction, while it also deviates from it by employing modern neoliberal strategies.  RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  43                                                                                   This section attempts to explore how education policies construct the field of education as governable. The policy analysis of governmentality practices is conducted within the theoretical framework of four dimensions suggested by Dean (2010).  The first dimension, the “visibility of government” (Dean, 2010, p. 41) can be detected by analyzing the network of actors in the EQA field. The governmentality could be characterized as having undergone a transition from a state-centralized power to a power that is networked and self-regulated. Recognizing that power is everywhere and is exercised through the network, and remembering the Foucauldian methodological precaution that analysis should accentuate power in all “capillaries,” the policies could be searched for this “capillary” system (Foucault, 1980). Various state actors are involved in the EQA process: the National Testing Center and the Divisions for External Examinations, which are accountable to the Committee for Quality Control in Education and Science. The directive functions of the MoES over EQA could be seen in its assignment of control to concrete bodies during each step of the evaluation process (MoES, 2010b, p. 19). Delegating the administration of EAAA to local executive authorities and akims (mayors) fortifies state control and intensifies governmental omnipresence (See Appendix B). Such vertical control is a recognized feature of the Soviet educational management process. The practice of governmentality as a means to make education accountable is not new for former Soviet countries. However, due to global neoliberalism, in the Kazakhstani educational system, new accountability assemblages have been developed like the Kazakhstan Institute for Strategic Studies, the National Analytic Center, the Institute of Economic Research, and the Information-Analytic Center. Under each of these organizations is a set of subsidiary analytical centers and institutions (See Appendix C). These think tanks work in cooperation with foreign RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  44                                                                                   partners (including the European University Association and the IREG Observatory on Academic Ranking and Excellence) to keep up with international standards. An analysis of the EQA policies demonstrates that the authority of educational inspectors is duplicated by many controlling organizations and is assigned to the MoES, the Committee for Control of Education and Science, other authoritative bodies, and local representative and executive educational institutions at different levels (MoES, 2007a). The functions of these new departments and inspection agencies are not clearly defined and may overlap. Power is diffused between organizations and circulates everywhere (Foucault, 1980). The multi-layering of controlling functions harkens back to the Soviet legacy (Fimyar, 2008a). Moreover, the system of checks and balances, which is essential for democracy, does not operate efficiently here, as there is no authentic non-governmental body to offer an alternative concept of EQA development. The Soviet system also contained state mechanisms that were not democratically balanced, although the constitution claimed them to be. Despite neoliberalism and the proclaimed decrease in the influence of the state, non-governmental organizations are almost invisible in the EQA process. To govern, the state must control the production, circulation and organization of truths—what makes them thinkable and governable. Being ostensibly autonomous but funded by the state, non-governmental EQA organizations de facto conduct research to justify the education and assessment policies already in place. The MoES has become obsessed with establishing such organizations to fortify its growing network of educational control. These so-called “think tanks” have opened new avenues for the exercise of governmentality (Webb, 2005). However, although they depend on the state, they are not completely powerless; as producers of “the truth,” they possess a certain power that circulates among all these institutions. Moreover, schools, teachers, students and parents, while RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  45                                                                                   they are seemingly dependent on these policies, also possess power. As Foucault (1995) states, individuals become an important element of the power vehicle. While they are subjected to the governmental mechanisms stated in the policies, all of the actors are simultaneously governed by the neoliberal logics discussed earlier, logics that determine the controversial character of the EQA.  The second dimension, the “techne” of government, encompasses the strategies, languages and mechanisms it employs (Dean, 2010, p. 42). Governmentality and language are inextricably interrelated. Policy makers can obscure their real intentions by using long sentences and complicated expressions, often drawing specific terms from economics that are vague and confusing. This can prevent a thorough critical reading of the policies. As Fimyar notes, “All CIS [Commonwealth of Independent States] have a penchant for drafting long documents that are then ignored or only partially fulfilled. These are more letters of intent than contractual obligations” (2008b, p. 12). For example, the Law on Education (MoES, 2007a) is 64 pages long, and the SPED (MoES, 2010b) is 59. Such lengthy policies often remain unread thoroughly by the public. The repetitive articulation of the same ideas is also a distinctive feature of the EQA policies. For instance, the ideas of controlling education through national tests, following international educational standards, making the Kazakhstani educational structure compliant with the International Standard Classification of Education, joining the European educational space “to provide transparency and responsibility” and “to provide reliable information,” and adopting the principle of “constant improvement” are repeated in the SPED (MoES, 2010b), the Law on Education (MoES, 2007a) and EAAA (MoES, 2012). As Fimyar (2008a) states, this repetition is a way to impose only one interpretation of a policy and eliminate ambiguities.  RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  46                                                                                   The policies on EQA could be defined as strategies to present the government favourably to the public (Gillies, 2008). EQA, in the form of tests, is introduced as an “essential element to provide high quality” and as a tool to “increase the young[er] generation’s intellectual capacities” (MoES, 2012). By attempting to achieve high results via these policies, the government seeks to construct and manage the public’s perception of its EQA program. The ambiguities in the policy language demonstrate the contradiction between the discourse of democratization and the rhetoric of subordination and control. For example, the aim of secondary education is stated in the SPED as “the formation of a citizen according to his/her needs in obtaining education [and the] development of competitive human capital for [the] economic prosperity of the country” (MoES, 2010b). Although here, the interests of society and individuals are prioritized over those of the state, when the targets of the program are listed later in the document (MoES, 2010b), economic development is mentioned first. This interchange of priorities throughout the EQA policies exemplifies the fluctuation between old Soviet and new neoliberal discourses in a post-Communist country. The constitution of a subordinate discourse is sustained by authoritative phrasing, such as “in the order established by the Ministry,” “approved by the Ministry,” “determined by the Ministry,” “assessed by the authoritative body,” “to control over,” ”to subordinate,” ”to inspect,” “to examine” and so on. The overuse of such words upholds the rhetoric of subordination. Language analysis detects that the old discourse of direct control of the MoES is justified through wordplay that exploits the trends of neoliberalism. The EAAA, for example, is essential because it evaluates “the rationality of the use of funds allocated to education, and the overall functional efficiency of the education system” (MoES, 2012). RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  47                                                                                   The strategies for constructing a discourse of subordination in EQA are clearly stated in the Regulation on the EAAA (MoES, 2012). Organizational measures for providing security, preventing cheating, and increasing efficiency are maintained using cell phone signal suppressors, videotaping equipment, and a large number of external independent observers from local executive bodies. The EAAA regulations (MoES, 2012) have a strong disciplinary character since they define the space (buildings), time (120 minutes) and order in which the test should be conducted. They also contain prohibitions that restrict students from changing their places, opening textbooks, using calculators, and even leaving the classroom without an invigilator. Disciplinary space is arranged to ensure the supervision of the conduct of each individual (Foucault, 1995). Similarly, schedules, programs and exercises correlated with the developmental stages “served to economize the time of life, to accumulate it in a useful form and to exercise power over men through the mediation of time” (Foucault, 1995, p. 162). These restrictions, rigid rules and overemphasis on discipline and surveillance make students feel anxious. International observers criticize the intimidation exerted by examination supervisors as one of the most negative aspects of the national testing (World Bank, 2012). The next fossil of Soviet discourse that can be identified in policy language is an illusive sense of free choice. The words “opportunity” and “may” appear many times in education policies, and imply and enable a certain degree of freedom (Fimyar, 2008a). For example, the SPED (MoES, 2010b) states that it offers all students access to the best educational resources and technologies. Although the definitions of “access” and “best” are nebulous, the issue with this statement is its vagueness and its failure to specify how it could achieve its goals. In addition, the SPED (MoES, 2010b) claims that education will involve extensive participation by both pedagogical and other social groups through a board of trustees; however, it does not specify how RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  48                                                                                   they will be elected. These are only a few examples of how the government eloquently proclaims democratic ideas without providing the tools to implement them. Indeed, the EAAA policy does not list students’ and teachers’ rights or the possible measures they could take in an emergency, but only the actions they are prohibited from performing during the test. CDA focuses on “linguistic silences” and “absences” in the text, which can be important as said and written (Fairclough, 2013). To discourage heterodox interpretations of their policies, policy makers provide a list of definitions, imposing their own version of knowledge on the reader and precluding any misconception or discussion. The national system of EQA is described in a way that seeks to convince the public that it is not only a state, but a personal need; EAAA is “defining [the] conformity of the quality of education to the state educational standards, the needs of the individual, society and the state.” Thus, Education policy makers shape our understanding of what “truth” in education is, using specific linguistic strategies. By interacting with this language and internalizing it, we begin to believe in the “policy truth” it carries. This suggests that policy language significantly contributes to the construction of governable individuals (Trowler, 2003). Technologies of power are "technologies imbued with aspirations for the shaping of conduct in the hope of producing certain desired effects and averting certain undesired ones" (Rose, 1999, p. 52). To sustain governmentality, EQA policy language generates the mechanisms of differentiation. The EAAA indirectly creates labelling, a language of governmentality, that defines students either as failures or achievers. The entire educational system is so imbued with this labelling syndrome that such language is often used to stereotype, construct and classify students and teachers. It forms a stereotyping system where girls are perceived as more valuable than boys, immigrants from Russia or the Ukraine as better than those from Mongolia and other RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  49                                                                                   Central Asian countries, and students transferred from special schools for the gifted as greater assets than those from rural schools. These tendencies are applied to Kazakhstan and to many other countries (Gillborn & Youdell, 2000). Another strategy for the operation of governmentality is the state’s monopoly on the production of truth through standardization. EAAA, for example, is designed “to define the level of mastery of standardized programs” in educational organizations (MoES, 2007a, article 55). This statement emphasizes the controlling function of standards and replicates Soviet education management practices, which were completely based on standardization (Wertsch, 2002). In the EQA policies, much space is dedicated to the MoES’s credentials and its power over the testing procedure. To ensure that teachers are congruent with the public’s, or rather the state’s, interests, the MoES established the Institution for Teachers' Competence Enhancement—the only such organization in the country. Thus, the MoES claims exclusive, absolute knowledge of both the EQA and the criteria for judging teachers’ professional competence. The employment of the word “standards” is evidence of the state’s inflexibility. Standards could be viewed as the “production of the truth,” as generated by the MoES. Teachers govern themselves and their students by this produced truth (Foucault, 1995).  The character of EAAA policies is imperative since they establish certain modes of discipline, regulate and control the testing procedure, and then indirectly modify competition among educational organizations. “Discipline is a type of power, a modality for its exercise, comprising the whole set of instruments, techniques, procedures, levels of application, [and] targets” (Foucault, 1995, pp. 215-216). Through EAAA, students, teachers and principals are constructed as objects of knowledge and targets of power. Discursive mechanisms such as normalizing judgments based on the process of testing, ranking and categorizing make them RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  50                                                                                   easily controlled. Through the EAAA and other national and international tests, students undergo examination and normalization. In other words, by labelling students as “academically strong” or “academically weak,” teachers as competent or incompetent, and schools as “successful” or “unsuccessful,” standardized tests objectify them. These tests are dualistic in nature: “the power of normalization imposes homogeneity; but it individualizes by making it possible to measure gaps, to determine levels, to fix specialties and to render the differences useful by fitting them one to another” (Foucault, 1995, p. 184). The concept of the “normal” is established as a principle for coercion and becomes an instrument of power. It might also contribute to the formation of a “telos,” the “ultimate ends and their utopian goals” (Dean, 2010, p. 33) that manage people’s actions and in some way build the national idea that filled the “ideological vacuum” after the collapse of the strong Soviet power (Surucu, 2002). The current EAAA policy employs a variety of strategies: it compares, differentiates, hierarchizes, homogenizes, excludes and, overall, normalizes people according to the governmental “truth” of education quality. EAAA frames the potential field of action for all educational stakeholders, defining modes of behaviour and providing security and stability for governance (Foucault, 1995). The employment of the abovementioned strategies would not be possible or effective without a certain knowledge, which is explored next. The third dimension is the “episteme” of government, namely, “types of knowledge, rationality and expertise” employed for governable practices (Dean, 2010, p. 42). The “information management and forecast of development trends” is established to ensure education quality; this is done through the process of national testing and the functionality of the Committee for Control of Education and Science (MoES, 2010b, p. 31). Foucault defines governmentality as the “ensemble formed by the institutions, procedures, analyses and reflections, the calculations and tactics that allow the exercise of this very specific albeit complex RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  51                                                                                   form of power, which has as its target population” (Rose, 1999, p. 5). To provide accountability, the state needs data to make schools, teachers and students visible and controllable. The Committee of Education and Science thus has the right to “request essential information and data from authorities” (MoES, 2010b). “State agencies produce and proliferate forms of knowledge that enable them to act upon the governed reality” (Dean, 2010, p. 42). The technologies the government uses to achieve its aims include: methods of examination and evaluation, techniques of notation, numeration, and calculation; accounting procedures; routines for the timing and spacing of activities in specific locations; presentational forms such as tables and graphs, formulas for the organization of work; standardized tactics for the training and implantation of habits; pedagogic, therapeutic, and punitive techniques of reformulation and cure; architectural forms in which interventions take place (i.e., classrooms and prisons); and professional vocabularies. (Lemke, 2007, p. 50)  A CDA of Kazakhstani policies on EQA reveals all of these indexes. The Law on Education (MoES, 2007a, article 55) states that to monitor education, EAAA “uses a complex set of statistical and analytical evaluation indices”. A common database of students and teachers is created at all educational levels and the monitoring system is continuously being improved. The SPED (MoES, 2010b) views this unified statistical database as an effective method of providing transparency; however, it also fortifies the system of governmentality. Moreover, since all of the data on educational subjects is online, those who can access it might manipulate it to achieve their aims, thereby making teachers and students even more vulnerable. Students’ academic performance is measured by tests and presented in dry statistics, numbers and graphs. The policies on EQA construct the legislative framework for the “knowledgeable management of human souls” (Rose, 1999). The extensive data they collect allows auditing organizations to RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  52                                                                                   evaluate the educational situation through monitoring and calculation and to predict possible trends. The EAAA (2012) and the SPED (MoES, 2010b) aim to establish a subjectivity discourse through the “calculated management” of students and teachers, defining concrete numeric targets for them to achieve (Rose, 1999, p. 5). The Regulation on the EAAA (MoES, 2012) defines the aims of the testing as “to monitor,” “to assess,” and “to compare.” Thus, the national testing, combined with the application of surveillance and normalizing judgment, produces calculable subjects. Since the MoES perceives students as objects that can be represented numerically, the government is dependent on knowledge—the production, circulation, organization and authorization of truths that incarnate what is to be governed (Rose, 1999, p. 6). The episteme of Kazakhstani EQA policies embraces the practices that establish truth and rationality and includes neoliberal governance and accountability.  The final dimension is the forms of individual and collective identity through which the regime of governmentality is established. The Kazakhstani government perceives the nation not as a mass to be strictly policed, but as individuals who should be prompted to act according to their interests, which, however, are shaped by governmental strategies and propaganda (Adams & Rustemova, 2009). In introducing the EAAA, the Law on Education (MoES, 2007a, article 55) refers to teachers and students as faceless investors in economic development, downplaying the significance of the human element in education politics overall and specifically in EQA; it also points out the law-abiding, non-critical character of the identities the policies intend to shape. By standardizing and decontextualizing educational practice, national testing seeks to shape teachers’ professional identities. In policing themselves to conform to pre-established standards, teachers abnegate their beliefs and freedoms as they become controlled by particular systems of knowledge.  RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  53                                                                                   The real aim of Kazakhstani evaluation policies is to provide accountability. Achinstein and Ogawa (2006) use the term “fidelity” to characterize adherence to these policies and suggest that dissent is an expression of “infidelity.” The EAAA therefore aims to establish a model of faithful teachers. Although the Law on Education (MoES, 2007a, article 3.5) states that the “rights and freedoms of a person shall be respected,” the EAAA (MoES, 2012), by publishing students’ results along with their last names and school affiliation, violates not only this principle, but the Constitutional right to the confidentiality of personal information. The evaluation, based on standardized tests, focuses primarily on getting teachers and students to conform, not to question. Moreover, their decontextualized and formal nature reduces individuals; standardized programs and tests educate a standardized citizenry to ensure governmentality (Gatto, 2003). For the control and maintenance of education quality, teachers are obliged to pass an evaluation for each qualification level (MoES, 2010b), the results of which will be integrated with the students’ EAAA rankings to ensure that teachers work efficiently and according to the standards. None of these dimensions can be analyzed separately; they must be viewed as a single complex entity to understand their interconnectedness. Although this analysis is framed by Dean’s dimensional theory of governmentality, this is just one of many approaches. There are also some other possible manifestations of governmentality, although this paper focuses only on those that are related to EQA.  The fact that governmentality has become more complicated and requires more sophisticated strategies has led to its pairing with other modern discourses, such as “neoliberal governmentality,” “global governmentality” and “managerial governmentality.” New neoliberal governmentality views rationality as the norm; therefore, its EQA policies are a way in which the state constructs new types of identities: subjects whose behaviour is directed by their calculation of benefits and costs. The higher the results they get, the more rewards they will obtain in the RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  54                                                                                   form of bonuses and gratitude, and the more in demand they will be as successful teachers. As Lemke points out, the state transfers the responsibility for their own welfare to “individual entrepreneurs” (2007, pp. 201-202). Neoliberalism establishes a new method of governance, encouraging citizens to shape their lifestyle in an entrepreneurial form. Neoliberal education therefore sees students and teachers as lifeless human resources. The emerging discourse of global governmentality is also central for EQA policies (Tikly, 2004), as evidenced by the adherence to international standards as the goal of Kazakhstani education. Tikly (2004) argues that beyond the “global” understanding of how populations should be governed, the “Western view” is hidden. Could the current education policies be viewed simply as having shifted from Soviet to Western governmentality models? While this question might require further research to answer, it is apparent from the CDA that the nation’s policies rely heavily on Western neoliberal values and criteria. Overall, the concept of governmentality builds a theoretical framework for research that reveals the real character of power relations in the education field based on EQA policies. These policies exert not just direct physical surveillance, but surveillance organized as invisible and anonymous power. “This enables the disciplinary power to be both absolutely indiscreet, since it is everywhere and always alert, since by its very principle it leaves no zone of shade and constantly supervises the very individuals who are entrusted with the task of supervising, and absolutely discreet, for it functions permanently and largely in silence” (Foucault, 1995, pp. 176-177). Technologies of subjectivity exist in a kind of symbiotic relationship with “techniques of the self.” Being placed in the framework of neoliberal discourse and market rationale, and employing self-inspection, self-problematization and self-monitoring, we unconsciously evaluate ourselves against the criteria stated in the SPED (MoES, 2010b) and other education policies. It may be inferred from its EQA policies that Kazakhstani education is undergoing a RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  55                                                                                   transformation. Although the current policies proclaim an absolute denial of the previous methods of governing, CDA reveals that a strong continuity exists with the discourses of the Soviet period. The hidden dialogue between the former and the present models is seen in controversies over the declaration of democratic values as a priority in education policy versus the discourse of extending control and monitoring; a theory of choice versus its invisible limitation; new ways of producing measurable educational subjects able to perform self-care versus old strategies of surveillance; and other dichotomies that define the character of governmentality in Kazakhstani education.  RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  56                                                                                   Conclusion  This analysis has revealed how EQA policies contain explicit and implicit discourses of governmentality and neoliberalism in post-Soviet Kazakhstan. It suggests that instead of improving the ability of schools to respond to the demands of neoliberal globalization or offering them greater liberation and decentralization, the current EQA policies emphasize their increased accountability for students’ learning outcomes by expanding the system of standardized tests to make it the main, and sometimes the only, index for measuring knowledge. Moreover, these policies are often one-sided—as Freire states, “We evaluate to punish and almost never to improve teachers’ practice” (Webb, 2009, p. 105). The price we pay for such control may be the loss of authentic professionalism by teachers who alter their methods to attain this new standard of educational achievement (Achinstein & Ogawa, 2006). A CDA of EQA policies uncovers a variety of sophisticated strategies and mechanisms of Kazakhstani governmentality, which is a hybrid of the previous Soviet policy traditions with modern “techne,” such as governing by numbers and statistics, language manipulation, the normalization of power through EAAA tests, and the establishment of a new audit culture, all of which promote performativity and an ensuing decline in education. It was determined that Kazakhstani education policy makers have made rather decontextualized assumptions about how to create meaningful institutional reforms and improve education quality. Being full of hidden discourses of governmentality and neoliberal implications, these policies do not ameliorate, but may even worsen, the situation in national education. A globalization-driven adherence to Western-rooted educational models and international standards without their appropriate contextualization might cause the loss of the national core of Kazakhstani education.  RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  57                                                                                   The re-reading of education policies as heteroglossic texts shows a hidden dialogue between old Soviet and modern neoliberal discourses. The nature of this dialogue is dualistic. On one hand, it is built on the total denial of the elements of the previous regime. On the other, despite the state’s declared dismantling of the model of Soviet education, it retains a mode of continuity with some of its principles. The results of the discourse analysis assume that education policies are still very rigid; the policy-making process is still centralized in the hands of officials, without open dialogue or public discussion. This centralization could be explained by the fact that historically, Kazakhstan has been deprived of its autonomy in the policy-making process. Newly emerging countries might feel the need to impose strong governmental control both to retain their independence during the ensuing period of chaos and euphoria and to gain and exercise power after their colonization. It may, however, be possible to become colonized by new, more sophisticated, less visible discourses of neo-imperialism. To recognize such discourses, the public must have high democratic and social awareness, a strong civic position, and a personal critical stance, qualities that the Kazakhstani people have had little opportunity to cultivate. It is terrifying that in this rapidly changing world, we may not have the historical time to prepare to respond rationally to these newly emerging discourses.  The hidden dialogue between the former and the present discourses is seen in controversies between the manifestation of democratic values and increasing state control; free choice and its invisible constraint by EQA policies; the encouragement of self-care and human entrepreneurship and the public’s complete reliance on the government to provide well-being; the old concept of collectivism and the modern one of individualism; and the perception of competition as an ideological struggle against the capitalist world, and its perception as RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  58                                                                                   favourable for improving education quality. This ambiguous combination of contradictory discourses is unlikely to be an effective legislative tool for educating our students.  An important implication of neoliberalism is that “it is compatible with, and sometimes even productive of, authoritarian, despotic, paramilitaristic, and/or corrupt state forms and agents within civil society” (Brown, 2003, p. 3). For Kazakhstan, where an authentic democratic culture has not yet been firmly established, neoliberal discourses in society as a whole, and especially in education, might have irreversible consequences for its development (Olcott, 2010; Cummings, 2005). An analysis of EAAA and other educational programs confirms that the danger is not just that this discourse sustains our system of accountability and control, but that policy makers and the public truly believe that neoliberally inspired policies are effective and cannot see their hidden implications.  The acts of critical re-reading and de-familiarization create new spaces for thought and action. Assessments that promote educational development and the improvement of learning must replace the currently overused standardized examinations. Ozga (2000) proposes removing policy from its pedestal and forming research communities of academics and practitioners to deal with EQA concerns. Critically re-reading education policies and exposing the discourses of neoliberalism and governmentality that frame them could be described as democratic actions. In other words, I hope that the value of this paper resides in its ability to transform its readers’ assumptions about, or actions within, society. Based on our findings, this study makes the following recommendations for education policy making and additional research.  RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  59                                                                                   1. Participatory budgeting, constant contact, and consideration for teachers’ interests should be used to create a more socially just, responsive, and critical curriculum (Apple, 2007). 2. Key actors should be invited to participate in the policy-making process to help develop the concept of education quality and to resolve questions and potential disagreements before policies are enacted. 3. Policy makers should be aware of the social impact of their directives. 4. If standardized testing must be used, practicing educators should reconsider the questions for all subject areas and reorient them away from dogmatized knowledge towards intellectual challenges that rely on positive constructivism. 5. The development and improvement of EAAA should be based on research.  6. EAAA items should be differentiated for different types of schools. 7. The MoES should ensure that the funding provided is sufficient to cover research and development as well as core EAAA activities.  8. The MoES should develop a program targeted at rural schools that provides the financial and human resources to prevent a crisis in education. 9. University programs, funded teacher workshops, and online courses should be made available on education quality assessment. Additional critical analysis should be conducted on educational legislation in other policy areas. Moreover, the subject of this paper should be revisited in five to seven years to see what, if any, changes have occurred in the effect of neoliberalism and governmentality on EQA policies. RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  60                                                                                   It is important to determine how different discourses are used in legislation over time. The broad area of the state’s policies on education quality assessment, towards which this study has made only a small contribution, should continue to be carefully investigated. Finally, since this study was conducted using a Western theoretical framework, it would be enlightening to analyze the context of neoliberalism and governmentality in Kazakhstan through a non-Western lens.  RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  61                                                                                   References  Achinstein, B., & Ogawa, R. T. (2006). (In)Fidelity: What the resistance of new teachers reveals about professional principles and prescriptive educational policies. Harvard Educational Review, 76(1), 30-63. Adams, L. L., & Rustemova, A. (2009). Mass spectacle and styles of governmentality in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Europe-Asia Studies, 61(7), 1249-1276. doi:10.1080/09668130903068798 Apple, M. W. (2004). Creating difference: Neo-liberalism, neo-conservatism and the politics of educational reform. Educational Policy, 18(1), 12-44. doi:10.1177/0895904803260022 Apple, M. W. (2007). 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Re-reading education policies: A handbook studying the policy agenda of the 21st century. Boston, MA: Sense Publisher. Retrieved from Surucu, C. (2002). Modernity, nationalism, resistance: Identity politics in post-Soviet Kazakhstan. Central Asian Survey, 21(4): 385-402. doi:10.1080/0263493032000053208. Tikly, L. (2001). Globalisation and education in the postcolonial world: Towards a conceptual framework. Comparative Education, 37(2), 151-171. doi:10.1080/03050060124481 Tikly, L. (2004). Education and the new imperialism. Comparative Education, 40(2), 173-198.                 doi:10.1080/0305006042000231347 Trowler, P. (2003). Education policy (2nd ed.). London: Routledge. UNICEF. (2007). Education in Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan Annual Report. Retrieved from Webb, P. T. (2005). The anatomy of accountability. Journal of Education Policy, 20(2), 189-208. doi:10.1080/0268093052000341395 Webb, P. T. (2009). Teacher assemblage. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers. Webb, P., Gulson, K., & Pitton, V. (2014). The neo-liberal education policies of epimeleiaheautou: Caring for the self in school markets. Discourse-Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 35(1), 31-44. doi:10.1080/01596306.2012.739465 Wertsch, J. (2002). Voices of collective remembering. New York: Cambridge University Press. RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  67                                                                                   Whitty, G. (1997). Creating quasi-markets in education. In M. W. Apple (Ed.), Review of research in education (Vol. 22, pp. 30-47). Washington, DC: American Educational Research Association. World Bank. (2012). Kazakhstan: Student assessment. Systems Approach for Better Education Results (SABER) Country Report. Washington, D.C.: World Bank. Retrieved from Zhumagulov, B. (2013, April 03). Interview by Ignatova. Kachestvo obrazovaniya dlya nas glavnei vsego. Education quality is the state’s priority. Retrieved from Zhussipbek, G. (2011). The ascendancy and fall of neoliberalism in Kazakhstan: The power of ideas. USAK Yearbook of International Politics and Law, 4, 347-375.     RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  68                                                                                   Appendix A  Legislative Documents  On the Approval of the Regulations on External Assessment of Academic Achievement The Minister’s of Education and Science order dated April 6, 2012 № 151. Registered at the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Kazakhstan on April 11, 2012 № 7553 Published in Kazakhstanskaya Pravda, April 18, 2012, № 106-107 (26925-26926); Egemen Kazakhstan, April 18, 2012, 162-163 (27237)  According to article№ 55 of the Education Act № 319-III July 27, 2007, I hereby order:  1. That the attached Regulations on the External Assessment of Academic Achievement be approved. 2. That the Committee for Control of Education and Science (S. A. Irsaliev): 1) enact the state registration, according to the established procedure, of the current order by the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Kazakhstan; 2) publish the order in the mass media after its registration. 3. That S. A. Irsaliev, head of the Committee for the Control of Education and Science, manage the implementation of the current order. 4. that this order beсomes legally valid after ten days of its official publication.  B. Zhumagylov, Minister of Education and Science  Regulation on the External Assessment of Academic Achievement In Educational Organizations in Kazakhstan  I. General provisions 1 The current Regulation is created according to the Education Act № 319-III July 27, 2007 and determines the terms of organization and the provisions of conducting the External Assessment of Academic Achievement (EAAA) in educational organizations. RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  69                                                                                   2 The Regulation applies to educational organizations regardless of their ownership and departmental affiliation. 3 The goals of EAAA in educational organizations are: 1) to monitor students’ academic achievement, 2) to assess the efficiency of the learning process, and 3) to compare the quality of educational services. 5. The dates for EAAA are set by the authoritative body in education (authoritative body).  II. The holding of EAAA in secondary educational organizations  6.  In secondary educational organizations, EAAA is conducted when students complete either basic or general secondary education: In basic secondary schools (after grades 9/10), to define the further learning trajectory; In general secondary (profile) schools, to assess the level of academic achievement. 7.  EAAA of basic secondary educational organizations is conducted directly in the school the students attend. 8. Control over compliance with the Regulation on EAAA is carried out by the Department of Control of education of the Committee for Control of Education and Science and by direct representatives of the Ministry. 9.  EAAA is conducted via complex testing that can be paper based, information technology based, or in the form of written assignments, as approved by the authoritative body. 10. Assignments are designed on the basis of general education programs, and their content cannot go beyond the specifications of these programs. 11.  In the EAAA of grade 9 (10) students, the Kazakh language is compulsory and three other disciplines are assessed each year by the authoritative body. 12. The number of test questions for each subject is 20. 13. 120 minutes (two hours) are given for test completion. 14.  Each correct answer is equal to one point. 15. The resultsare processed at the Centers for Unified National Testing. 16.  EAAA results are distributed to students within three days of the examination. 17. EAAA results may be employed by organizations conducting ranking research. RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  70                                                                                   18. When preparing for the examination, students will be instructed on how to fill out the testing forms and are introduced to the testing procedure.   Students are not allowed:  1) to change seats; 2) to open a textbook without aninvigilator’s permission; 3) to exchange books or testing materials with other students; 4) to use a calculator, references (except Mendeleev’s periodic table and the solubility table), electronic devices, mobile phones, or correction fluid; 5) to talk or cheat on exams using notes; 6) to leave the classroom without either aninvigilator or a representative of the ministry.  I. The holding of EAAA in higher education organizations  19.  In organizations that implement professional programs of higher education, EAAA is performed to monitor the quality of service provided and to determine how well the students have mastered the disciplines prescribed by the state as compulsory for final-year undergraduates. 20.  EAA is conducted for students in all higher educational organizations, regardless of their departmental affiliation or their public or private ownership. The results will be used by organizations conducting ranking research. 21. The majors that are included in EAAA will be decided by an authoritative body in education. 22. Questions on both main and profiling state-mandated disciplines are included in EAAA. 23. EAAA is carried out in the form of complex tests in four disciplines on dates assigned by the authoritative body. 24. There are 25 testing tasks for each discipline. Each student has 150 minutes (two and a half hours) to complete the test for all four subjects. 25. The test is conducted in the language of the course, whether Kazakh or Russian. RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  71                                                                                   26. Control over compliance with the Regulation on EAAA in educational organizations is carried out by the local territorial departments of the Committee for Control of Education and Science and by the universities’ representatives of the Ministry. 27.  EAAA results are given to students within 24 hours of the examination.  Regulation on the Committee for Control of Education and Science of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan Approved by the Order of the Ministry of Education and Science  of the Republic of Kazakhstan  Dated November 5, 2010 # 433-k 1. General provisions 1. This is the current Regulation on the Committee for Control of Education and Science of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan, developed according to the Regulation on the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan, approved by the order of the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan, dated October 28, 2004 # 1111, and by the Regulations of the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan, dated October 22, 2007 # 984. 2. The Committee for Control of Education and Science of the Ministry of Education and Science (henceforth to be known as the Committee) is an institution that carries out the implementation of state policy on education and science within the framework of the Ministry of Education and Science, and controls and regulates the field within its jurisdiction. 3. The Committee performs its duties according to the Constitution and laws of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Acts of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the orders of the Ministry and the executive secretary, other legislative acts, and the current regulation. 4. The Committee is a legal entity in the form of a state institution that has its own stamps in the official language, standard forms, and financial account in the Treasury Committee of the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Kazakhstan. RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  72                                                                                   5. The Committee builds civil-law relationships on its own behalf. It has the right to act as a state representative in legal agreements if it is empowered to do so according to the legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan. 6.  As prescribed by law, the Committee issues acts in the form of orders, regulations and definitions. 7. The structure and number of staff are determined by the executive secretary of the Ministry after negotiation with the Ministry within the Ministry’s staff limitations, as endorsed by the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan. 8. The juridical address of the Committee is the House of Ministries, 8 Orynbor Street, Astana, Esil District, 010000. 9. The official name of the Committee is the State Committee for Control of Education and Science of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan. 10. The current regulation is a constituent document of the Committee. 11. Funding for the Committee is provided by the Republican Budget. The Committee is not allowed to establish any contractual relationships with business entities for the performance of its functions and duties. If the Committee is allowed to execute any income-generating activities, the revenue will go to the Republican Budget. 2. Functions and rights of the Committee 12.  According to the legislation, the Committee performs the following functions: 1) Arranges the accreditation procedure for educational organizations; 2) Conducts the accreditation of non-statutory scientific organizations; 3) Establishes and organizes the operation of boards for dissertation defense; 4) Awards master’s and doctoral degrees in science. 5) On behalf of the state, issues master’s and Ph.D. diplomas in science, and certificates of associate professors and professors; 6) Conducts state testing of educational organizations regardless of ownership or departmental affiliation, implements undergraduate and postgraduate professional education programs (excluding medical and pharmaceutical education), and manages educational organizations, through funding from the Republican Budget. 7) Tests scientific institutions (excluding those in health education); RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  73                                                                                   8) Controls the implementation of legislation and legal acts on education, including of state compulsory standards in educational organizations regardless of ownership and departmental affiliation; 9) Controls the compliance of educational organizations with legislation on education and rules of accreditation through inspections, as prescribed by the law of the Republic of Kazakhstan “On Private Enterprise,” according to the system of risks evaluation; 10) Affixes Apostilles on official documents of institutions of education and science in the Republic of Kazakhstan; 11) Conducts the process of nostrification of educational documents; 12) Organizes and conducts Common National Testing; 13) Organizes and conducts Intermediate State Control; 14) Conveys legal acts of the Ministry, developed by the Committee, for state registration by the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Kazakhstan; 15) Publishes legal acts developed by the Committee; 16) Constantly monitors legal acts developed and implemented by the Committee for conflicts with the legislation of Kazakhstan, evaluates the efficiency of their implementation, makes timely decisions on initiating amendments or recognizing them as invalid, and presents information on monitoring to the Juridical Department on the first day of the last month of each quarter; 17) Based on the results of control and inspection campaigns, opens and reviews cases of administrative violations of the core competencies of the authoritative body in education; 18) Issues licenses for educational activities: To legal entities implementing professional programs of undergraduate and postgraduate education; To legal entities implementing educational programs funded by the Republican Budget; To legal entities implementing religious educational programs (theological educational organizations); To International and foreign legal entities implementing educational programs in Kazakhstan; 19) Conducts monitoring via external assessment of the quality of education. RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  74                                                                                   13.  To achieve its targets and implement its functions within its own jurisdiction, the Committee has the right: 1) To Request essential information, documents and data from authorities and organizations of the Ministry of education and Science; 2) To Involve employees from other departments and subordinate organizations in the preparation of draft regulations and in the development and implementation of events arranged by the Committee according to their assigned duties; 3) To provide explanations on issues referred to the purview of the Committee. 3. The Committee’s property 14. The Committee has the right to manage its own property. This property is constituted by assets transferred by the government and consists of basic funds, current assets, and other properties, the cost of which is reflected in the Committee’s balance. 15. The Committee’s property belongs to the Republican Treasury. 16. The Committee is not allowed to alienate or dispose of property indiscriminately. It has the right to dispose of property only within and according to the legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan. 4. Organization of the Committee’s activities 17. The Committee is headed by a chairman, who is assigned to and dismissed from the position by the Minister of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan.  Assignment to and dismissal from the position are negotiated with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Head of Presidential Administration.  The vice-chairmen are assigned to and dismissed from their positions by the Minister of Education and Science, who is advised by the Chairman. The hiring and dismissal of the vice-chairmen of the Committee are negotiated with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan or on his behalf with the Head of the Presidential Office. The tenure of the vice-chairmen is also negotiated with the executive secretary of the Ministry of the Republic of Kazakhstan. 18.  The Chairman organizes and leads the work of the Committee and is responsible for executing its assigned functions. 19. To do this, the Chairman:  RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  75                                                                                   1) Defines the duties and credentials of the vice-chairmen and heads of the Committee’s departments; 2) Assigns and dismisses employees to/from positions in accordance with the legislation; 3) Imposes disciplinary sanctions on the Committee’s employees; 4) Signs orders and makes Committee resolutions;  5) Approves resolutions on subdivisions of the Committee; 6) Sends drafts of normative acts and other official documents to the Legal Department and executive secretary of the Ministry for approval; 7) Represents the Committee in other state organizations in accordance with the legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan; 8) Leads the effort to take action towards preventing corruption, ensures compliance with anti-corruption legislation, and bears personal responsibility for ensuring ethical conduct. 20.  Other issues regarding the organization of the Committee’s activities, the rights and duties of its officials, and the purviews and credentials of its departments are established by the Committee’s regulations and the regulations on structural units. 5. Reorganization and liquidation of the Committee 21.  Reorganization and liquidation of the Committee may be implemented in accordance with the legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan.    RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  76                                                                                   Appendix B Structure of the Governmental System of Education Management                     Retrieved from  Minister Minister activity’s maintenance Service Board Vice-Minister Vice-Minister Higher and Postgraduate Education Department Technical and Vocational Education Department  Administrative Department  State purchases and capital construction Department Secondary Education Department  Law Department   Executive secretary Strategy Development Department Character building and Youth Policy Department  Financial Department   Internal Control Office Education and Science Control Committee   Science Committee  Children Rights Protection Committee Territorial bodies RE-READING KAZAKHSTAN’S EDUCATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT POLICIES                  77                                                                                   Appendix C Structure of the National Center for Education Quality Assessment               Retrieved from Director  Deputy Director  Deputy Director  Editorial and Publishing Services Institute for Education Quality Monitoring Laboratory of Education Quality Assessment  Institute of Strategic Management in Education  Institute for the Measurement of Education Laboratory of New Generation Testing  Laboratory of International Research  Department of  Professional Development of  Post-GraduateEducation  Department of Education Management  Laboratory of Resource and Information Support  Institute of the BolognaProcess              


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