ERIC Number: ED333010
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Accountability as a Tool for Educational Reform: Is It an Oxymoron?
Hansen, Joe B.
Issues and assumptions underlying the current movement toward educational reform are explored. The historical antecedents of the current interest in accountability date back to before the turn of the century, but the beginning of mandated accountability in federal programs occured in the late 1960's. Publication of "A Nation at Risk" in 1984 caused a new wave of educational reform based on accountability. Four main assumptions have been the underpinnings of the accountability movement: (1) stricter accountability requirements will lead to educational reform; (2) meaningful educational improvements can be effected through legislatively mandated accountability; (3) the appropriate focal point for accountability-driven reform is the individual school; and (4) broad involvement of the school and district community is essential for successful accountability-driven school reform. Evidence supporting these assumptions is weak at best. Although these assumptions are flawed, mandated accountability can be a useful tool for educational restructuring when realistic systems and goals are approached through research-based, balanced initiatives. If accountability is to serve a constructive role in educational reform, it must engender change in the cultural values of educators at all levels. (SLD)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Nation at Risk (A)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, April 3-7, 1991).