The introduction of these goals can be seen as a comprehensive reform that has been proven difficult to realise in the schools’ practice.
One of several purposes with many national and state-mandated tests around the world is to raise the standards by influencing the teachers’ practice through the tests. The underlying assumption is that these tests influence what the teachers do. By designing the tests so that they reflect important curricula goals the teachers will, if necessary, revise their teaching to make it more aligned with the tests. But all of the resources that are spent in designing the tests to achieve these positive consequences (often at the expense of the tests’ reliability and teachers work load) are based on this assumption of influence that has very little scientific support. This is valid both internationally and in a national perspective. Despite the importance of research in this area the conclusion from review-articles about the consequences of large-scale testing continues to be the same: the lack of understanding of and scientific evidence for the effects of large-scale tests are considerable and the need for empirical studies are significant. The aim of this project is to clarify the role that the Swedish national tests in mathematics have in the schools’ attempts to implement the competence goals of the syllabi. The introduction of these goals can be seen as a comprehensive reform that has been proven difficult to realise in the schools’ practice.