ERIC Number: ED318804
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Jul
Accountability: Implications for State and Local Policymakers. Policy Perspectives Series.
Kirst, Michael W.
This paper presents research findings to help policymakers understand and select various options for holding schools accountable for their performance and to help them devise a multistrategy accountability system. However, it does not recommend one system over another, since a given accountability option must be compatible and adapted to particular State and local contexts. Education policy has advanced historically through incremental or trial-and-error stages ("disjointed incrementalism"), as exemplified in the area of accountability. The lessons policymakers can learn from more than a century of experience with accountability are reviewed; and failures and false starts, and promising practices are considered. Six broad approaches to accountability are discussed: (1) accountability through performance reporting; (2) accountability through monitoring and compliance with standards/regulations, (3) accountability through incentive systems; (4) accountability through reliance on the market; (5) accountability through changing the locus of authority or control of schools; and (6) accountability through changing professional roles. It is contended that State or local governments must use several of these approaches simultaneously. Since accountability is one of several strategies to improve/restructure education in the United States, policymakers should pay particular attention to analyses presented in this paper concerning potential conflicts between specific accountability systems and other reforms. Appendix A discusses issues of local accountability for California, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and Florida; and Appendix B describes the California Model School Accountability Report Card. (RLC)
Descriptors: Accountability, Educational Assessment, Educational Policy, Educational Research, Elementary Secondary Education, Government Role, Local Government, Performance, Policy Formation, School Districts, School Effectiveness, State Government, State Programs
Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402.
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.