ERIC Number: ED423342
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
The Accountability System: Defining Responsibility for Student Achievement. Children Achieving: Philadelphia's Education Reform. Progress Report Series 1996-1997.
Luhm, Theresa; Foley, Ellen; Corcoran, Tom
This report explores issues related to accountability in the context of Children Achieving, the school reform effort of Philadelphia (Pennsylvania). The accountability system begins with content standards in English/language arts, mathematics, science, and the arts. The Stanford-9 Achievement Test has been designated to assess how students are progressing under the new reforms. A Professional Responsibility Index has been developed to provide each school with a performance target that reflects expected improvements. Another aspect of the accountability system is the Keystone Schools Program, which allows the Superintendent to reconstitute any school deemed academically distressed and then reopen it under strict supervision. Performance goals have also been set for the Superintendent and his Cabinet. Teacher observation forms, and promotion and graduation requirements are other aspects of the accountability system. Data from the Children Achieving evaluation suggest that teachers have felt that they had little time to prepare or respond to the new approach, although almost all were aware of the standards by the spring of 1997, and almost all saw them as potentially beneficial to students. District support for standards-based instruction was thin and slow, and the Performance Responsibility Index was not well understood. Teachers often felt that they were being held responsible for results that are beyond their control. However, the implementation of the Stanford-9 did impact teaching practice, even though teachers did not believe it really reflected the new standards or their curricula. Although it is too early to tell how the new system will affect student achievement, recommendations are made to improve the understanding of the accountability system and its acceptance. (Contains 4 charts, 11 tables, and 6 references.) (SLD)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Accountability, Achievement Tests, Educational Change, Educational Objectives, Elementary Secondary Education, Organizational Development, Program Evaluation, Standards, Tables (Data), Teacher Attitudes, Teacher Surveys, Test Results, Urban Education, Urban Schools
Consortium for Policy Research in Education, Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania, 3440 Market Street, Suite 560, Philadelphia, PA 19104-3325; telephone: 215-573-0700; Children Achieving Challenge, c/o Greater Philadelphia First, 1818 Market Street, Suite 3510, Philadelphia, PA 19103-3681; telephone: 215-575-2200; fax: 215-575-2222.
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Children Achieving Challenge, Philadelphia, PA.
Authoring Institution: Consortium for Policy Research in Education, Philadelphia, PA.; Research for Action, Inc., Philadelphia, PA.; OMG Center for Collaborative Learning, Philadelphia, PA.