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ERIC Number: EJ763244
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1539-9664
Exploring the Costs of Accountability
Costrell, Robert; Peyser, James
Education Next, v4 n2 p22-29 Spr 2004
Critics argue that No Child Left Behind's requirement that states bring all students up to academic proficiency by the year 2014 represents a massive unfunded mandate. These critics reason that unless the feds put a lot more money on the table, financially strapped state and local governments will be forced to raise taxes sharply. Otherwise, the entire reform effort could collapse of its own weight. The funding issue has three components. First is the cost of designing and implementing a statewide testing system. Second is the cost of establishing a state-level system for evaluating schools and districts and for intervening in those schools that continuously underperform. Third, and most controversial, is the cost of ensuring that schools have enough resources to provide the high-quality educational opportunities that students need to meet the academic standards required by NCLB. In this article, the authors examine these three components in light of their own experiences in Massachusetts. Based on their analysis, the authors suggest that many critics greatly exaggerate the shortfall of federal resources. Their calculations using a school improvement approach based on data from Massachusetts suggest a national gap of perhaps $8 billion a year, concentrated in a few states. This is only 5 to 10 percent of the critics' estimates, which are based on far more speculative and problematic models. (Contains 2 figures.)
Hoover Institution. Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-6010. Tel: 800-935-2882; Fax: 650-723-8626; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Journal Articles
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Massachusetts
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Elementary and Secondary Education Act; No Child Left Behind Act 2001