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ERIC Number: EJ776908
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Reference Count: 16
Leadership in the Age of Accountability
Guskey, Thomas R.
Educational Horizons, v86 n1 p29-34 Fall 2007
Many school leaders today, not to mention many teachers, view "accountability" as a loathsome political monster. Looming over educators, insensitive to the many problems they face, it wields the carrot of rewards in one hand and the club of sanctions in the other. Some educators even blame accountability for perverting their noble purposes, twisting their sensibilities, and corrupting their integrity. The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) accountability system seeks to improve all children's education by identifying schools that need improvement and taking corrective action. As nearly every school leader knows, the system stipulates that all students should achieve a state-defined "proficient" or better level in mathematics and language arts. Annual, measurable standards in those two areas must lead to 100 percent proficiency by 2014. Leaders also know that NCLB requires schools to meet specific "adequate yearly progress" (AYP) goals based on the percentage of students achieving at or above state-established proficiency standards. Improving education today requires an entirely different view of the matter. This article discusses that instead of viewing accountability as a straitjacket that hinders teaching, school leaders and teachers should embrace the opportunity to show various constituents the positive results. That will require two fundamental changes: new courage to ask difficult questions constantly, and new skills to find honest answers to those difficult questions. If educators make accountability their responsibility, the benefits to all students will be immediate, highly visible, and most impressive.
Descriptors: Instructional Leadership, Accountability, Federal Legislation, Educational Legislation, Academic Standards, Leadership Responsibility, Academic Achievement
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001