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ERIC Number: ED498325
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Mar
Pages: 145
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 116
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
This report focuses squarely on strategies for instructional improvement in American high schools. Specifically, this study examines how high schools that perform below average incorporate their state's accountability goals into their own goals, identify their challenges, and search for strategies for instructional improvement. It focuses on how high schools of differing performance levels and contexts, residing in states with different forms of high-stakes accountability and support systems, identify, understand, and respond to the gap between their current levels of performance and external expectations for their performance. The chapters comprising this report examine issues related to the interpretation of accountability policy and the response of high schools and districts. Chapter 1 (Betheny Gross and Jonathan A. Supovitz) introduces the study and presents the methodology. Chapters 2 through 5 are presented in an effort to show how the policy has unfolded for schools by beginning with a discussion of schools' interpretation of the policy and continuing with discussions of the schools' response to the press they experience. Chapter 2 (Diane Massell, Margaret Goertz, Gayle Christensen, and Matthew Goldwasser) presents an analysis of the press teachers and administrators feel and attribute to their state's accountability policy. Chapter 3 (Betheny Gross, Michael Kirst, Dana Holland, and Tom Luschei) discusses how local agents' interpretation of their states' policy shaped their prioritization of goals and challenges. Chapter 4 (Donna M. Harris, Melissa Prosky, Amy Bach, Julian Vasquez Heilig, and Karen Hussar) shows the types of strategies adopted by high schools in response to accountability pressure. Chapter 5 (Elliot H. Weinbaum) offers a different but very relevant perspective with a discussion of the accountability story as experienced by districts. Finally, Chapter 6 (Margaret E. Goertz and Diane Massell) concludes with a discussion that looks across each of the papers to discuss the themes of states' influence on local agents through accountability policy, the consequences of this influence, and policy directions states should consider as this policy is further developed. References can be found at the end of each individual chapter. (Contains 17 tables and 9 figures.)
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; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Institute of Education Sciences (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Consortium for Policy Research in Education, Philadelphia, PA.
Identifiers - Location: California; Florida; Michigan; New York; North Carolina; Pennsylvania; United States