ERIC Number: ED469450
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000-Jun
How States Can Hold Schools Accountable: The Strong Schools Model of Standards-Based Reform.
Brooks, Sarah R.
Few states have overcome the political and practical obstacles to implementing a clear, feasible, comprehensive accountability system. The University of Washington's Center on Reinventing Public Education reviewed experiences from state accountability efforts. Workable accountability systems focus on results, clarify goals and roles, and appreciate reciprocal relationships involving schools, districts, and states. No state has yet coordinated all seven of the following essential elements of an effective system: (1) fair, reliable, relevant, and understandable indicators; (2) predictable performance incentives; (3) opportunities to build school capacity; (4) flexibility for schools; (5) safety nets for students; (6) comprehensive public information campaigns; and (7) an independent oversight body. The reward-and-penalties approach often fails because though schools may want to improve, they lack necessary resources and knowledge. State attempting to implement these seven elements should consider 10 essential recommendations: (1) keep performance measures simple; (2) look for patterns in numbers; (3) use rewards to accomplish multiple goals; (4) be strategic with scarce resources; (5) focus on the student needs; (6) ensure school-specific assistance; (7) offer schools broad flexibility; (8) be bold and steadfast; (9) recognize the importance of public perceptions and educator morale; and (10) create checks and balances on accountability politics. The Strong Schools Accountability Model works only when incentives fir performance are meaningful, properly balanced, and schools have the capacity to respond to them effectively. (Appendices provide information about five study states and technical details regarding the Strong Schools Accountability Model. Contains 93 references and URL addresses for Department of Education Web sites from all 50 states.) (TEJ)
Descriptors: Accountability, Educational Assessment, Educational Change, Educational Objectives, Educational Policy, Elementary Secondary Education, Evaluation Utilization, Organizational Objectives, Performance Based Assessment, School Community Relationship, School Effectiveness
Center on Reinventing Public Education, Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs, University of Washington, Box 353060, Seattle, WA 98195-3060. Tel: 206-685-2214; Fax: 206-221-7402; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.crpe.org. For full text: http://www.crpe.org/Publications/downloads/holdschoolsaccount.pdf.
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Boeing Co., Seattle, WA.; Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Authoring Institution: Washington Univ., Seattle. Center on Reinventing Public Education.