ERIC Number: ED334339
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Mar
Creating Accountability in Big City School Systems. Urban Diversity Series No. 102.
Darling-Hammond, Linda; Ascher, Carol
Accountability has always been a basic concept in public education, although ideas about how to accomplish it have changed over the years. Problems in urban schools have given rise to the hope that carefully created systems of accountability might spur school improvement and school restructuring. Devising a system of genuine accountability in a large urban school is a complex task, involving careful sorting of responsibilities and a thoughtful set of measures for assessing school effectiveness and student progress. The following types of mechanisms operate simultaneously within a system of accountability: (1) political accountability; (2) legal accountability; (3) bureaucratic accountability; (4) professional accountability; and (5) market accountability. Bureaucratic accountability, professional accountability, and market accountability are all currently proposed as strategies for school improvement. Accountability systems need multiple statistical indicators to stimulate and measure school improvement; however, there is little agreement about what those indicators should be, or who should be responsible for determining them. Indicators must go beyond rudimentary output measures such as student test scores and examine the school context. Whether the indicators focus on inputs or outputs, care must be taken to protect the technical quality of the data, to create a level of analysis that isolates within-school differences, and to ensure that across-school comparisons are fair. A list of 29 references is appended. (FMW)
Descriptors: Accountability, Educational Assessment, Educational Improvement, Educational Indicators, Elementary Secondary Education, Evaluation Criteria, Outcomes of Education, School Effectiveness, School Restructuring, Systems Development, Urban Schools
ERIC Clearinghouse on Urban Education, Teachers College, Box 40, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027.
Publication Type: ERIC Publications
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Urban Education, New York, NY.; Columbia Univ., New York, NY. Teachers Coll. National Center for Restructuring Education, Schools and Teaching.
Note: On title page, cited as "Creating Accountability in Big City Schools."