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ERIC Number: EJ933976
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1360-3124
Making Accountability a Force for Dynamic Education
Lustick, David
International Journal of Leadership in Education, v14 n2 p247-249 2011
Regardless of what one thinks of No Child Left Behind (NCLB), the current national education legislation has demonstrated the power and potential of learning standards linked with systems of accountability to influence classroom experiences. Unfortunately, the changes promoted by the legislation have tied the professional hands and suppressed the creative tendencies of educators throughout the system. Teachers emphasize test preparation over meaningful understanding among their students. Students spend time memorizing terms, practising test-taking skills and rushing from one disconnected topic to the next all in the name of covering curriculum and improving achievement. For too many teachers and students (especially in more impoverished communities), school has become an exercise in the mundane rather than an exploration of the wondrous. The problem with standards and the tests that accompany them is twofold: (1) standards lack the dynamic component of an evolving curriculum; and (2) standards fail to consider teachers as learning individuals. Each of these problems may be addressed with one solution. Standards could be reconceptualized into thematic learning documents targeting both students and teachers. NCLB has produced a system of accountability that has had a huge impact on teaching and learning--only in a direction that limits learning to the least valuable and most mundane forms. With the re-authorization of NCLB a pressing issue, educational stakeholders have an unprecedented opportunity to make revisions that might finally bring about changes that avoid throwing out the proverbial baby with the bathwater. The issue before the education community is whether the willingness, vision and fortitude exist to acknowledge the strengths of this reform and address its dramatic and detrimental shortcomings. Accountability has proven itself an effective tool at influencing change behind the closed doors of the classroom. The author contends that if this instrument of change could be harnessed to promote more meaningful learning for both teachers and students then success for all might be within grasp.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001