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ERIC Number: ED493112
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Mar
Pages: 145
Abstractor: ERIC
Holding High Hopes: How High Schools Respond to State Accountability Policies. CPRE Research Report Series. RR-056
Gross, Betheny, Ed.; Goertz, Margaret E., Ed.
Consortium for Policy Research in Education
American public education faces increasing pressure to demonstrate the competence of all of its students as they progress through the grades and, especially, as students exit their high schools. In response, policymakers are developing sophisticated accountability and support systems in efforts to steer schools toward improved performance. These systems, combine a set of academic goals and standards with a battery of incentives to focus and motivate organizational and curricular change. In addition, these systems often provide resources to support local reform efforts. Although accountability systems such as these are not new to the educational policy environment, the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act in January, 2002, ensures that accountability systems focused on academic outcomes will continue for some time to come. This report shines a spotlight on high schools, which bring students to the last benchmarks in the K-12 system, and analyzes the response of teachers, school administrators, and the district administrators to these policies. The following chapters are included: (1) Introduction (Betheny Gross and Jonathan A. Supovitz); (2) The Press from Above, the Pull from Below: High School Responses to External Accountability (Diane Massell, Margaret Goertz, Gayle Christensen, and Matthew Goldwasser); (3) Got You Under My Spell? How Accountability Policy Is Changing and Not Changing Decision Making in High Schools (Betheny Gross, Michael Kirst, Dana Holland, and Tom Luschei); (4) Overview of Actions Taken by High Schools to Improve Instruction (Donna M. Harris, Melissa Prosky, Amy Bach, Julian Vasquez Heilig, and Karen Hussar); (5) Stuck in the Middle with You: District Response to State Accountability (Elliot H. Weinbaum); and (6) Summary (Margaret E. Goertz and Diane Massell). (Contains 17 tables and 9 figures. Individual chapters contain references.) [For the CPRE Policy Brief summarizing this study, see ED493044.]
Consortium for Policy Research in Education. University of Pennsylvania, 3440 Market Street, Suite 560, Philadelphia, PA 19104. Tel: 215-593-0700; Fax: 215-573-7914; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Collected Works - General; Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Institute of Education Sciences (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Consortium for Policy Research in Education.