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ERIC Number: EJ858790
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Sep
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 4
ISSN: ISSN-1529-8957
Broad & Balanced Accountability
Rothstein, Richard; Jacobsen, Rebecca
Principal Leadership, v10 n1 p22-25 Sep 2009
From the time of the Founding Fathers to the late 20th century, U.S. citizens have expected their schools to teach math and reading--and also social studies, history, science, the arts and music, character development, citizenship education, work skills, and emotional and physical health and fitness. Yet because No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and its companion state policies hold schools accountable for test scores only in math and reading, school leaders have rationally responded by transferring their efforts away from areas for which their schools are not held accountable. Common practices include increasing the number of mandated hours in math and reading, decreasing time in other areas, and pulling low-performing students out of nontested subjects so that they can receive further mathematics and reading instruction and drill. Such practices place disadvantaged students at risk of losing curricular opportunities in other domains. In those areas, NCLB has widened the achievement gap. President Barack Obama has vowed to correct this distortion, saying that NCLB must be changed "so that the assessment is one that takes into account all the factors that go into a good education." These authors state that modest modifications cannot correct the goal distortion inherent in current policy, and that school accountability cannot and should not be abandoned. Designing balanced policy, however, will take time and a significant federal research-and-development effort. In the wake of widespread recognition of the distortions wrought by NCLB's narrow test-based accountability, this is a good time to insist on evaluating schools on a broad set of outcomes.
National Association of Secondary School Principals. 1904 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1537. Tel: 800-253-7746; Tel: 703-860-0200; Fax: 703-620-6534; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001