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ERIC Number: EJ898075
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2002
Pages: 53
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1096-2719
Building a High-Quality Assessment and Accountability Program: The Philadelphia Example
Porter, Andrew; Chester, Mitchell
Brookings Papers on Education Policy, p285-337 2002
The purpose of implementing an assessment and accountability program in an urban school district is to improve student learning of worthwhile content. Current levels of achievement in most U.S. urban districts are unacceptably low. Average achievement test results conceal the fact that achievement levels of students of color are substantially lower than those of white students. Improvements are urgently needed. Some education researchers and practitioners believe that high-stakes testing leads to a dumbed-down curriculum and unfair penalties for students and schools. Others believe equally strongly that, without high-stakes testing, many schools will continue to provide inadequate opportunities to learn for students, especially students from low-income families. The authors believe that a carefully crafted and continuously refined assessment and accountability program can lead to more effective schools and higher levels of student persistence and achievement on content critical for future success. In this paper, the authors discuss a framework for building an effective assessment and accountability system and describe the accountability system used in Philadelphia as part of "Children Achieving", the complex standards-driven reform agenda put in place by David Hornbeck, who came to Philadelphia in 1994 as superintendent of the public schools. The authors analyze the Philadelphia assessment and accountability program around the framework of setting a good target, symmetry for students and schools, and fairness. Comments by Daniel Koretz and Theodore Hershberg are presented. (Contains 4 figures, 2 tables and 34 notes.)
Brookings Institution Press. 1775 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-536-3600; Fax: 202-536-3623; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania