The final piece to the puzzle of accountability in education is enforcement. According to Dr. Ellis, everything in education is driven by laws, policies, and procedures. Since accountability is a policy that falls under the umbrella of these three elements, consequently it must be the driving force of student achievement. But a law, policy, or procedure is only as good as it is enforced. That is why it is important to enforce accountability with clear and effective consequences. For example, the former federal education policy of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) implemented consequences for school who failed to meet annual yearly progress (AYP) by forcing the school district to create improvement plans, allowing parents the choice of enrolling their child in a better performing school, or by restructure that failing school (Dynarski,2015). Restructuring the school would mean making drastic changes such as replacing all or most of the staff, reopening the school as a charter school, or giving control of school operations to state or private companies with a proven track record of success and effectiveness (Reuters, 2017). Teachers, principals, and school staff have every motivation to ensure that all students achieve at their highest learning potential because their job and livelihood depend on it. But 5
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Accountability in Educationconsequences don’t always have to be penalties. Rewards are also great tools that can positively reinforce accountable individuals that provide adequate education for our students. Salary raises, bonuses, and promotions are common examples of incentives given to principals, teachers, and school staff to promote student achievement.Who should be held accountable?It is common knowledge that teachers have the awesome responsibility of fostering learning in their students. But some people fail to realize thatthe teachers only have around seven hours in the day with their students as far as instruction goes, and also that there are many different factors outside of the classroom that directly influence student achievement. Students should also be held accountable because their success is largely contingent on the amount of personal effort that is given to academics throughout each child’s matriculation through school. Life skills like problem solving, critical thinking, hard work, and time management, are skills that are developed and refined independently with the student’s constant practice as opposed to the teacher’s lessons. In order for the student to be able to independently build on their personal and academic skills, the family must provide the basic life necessities of a home environment that is conducive to learning. FOCUS St. Louis highlightssome roles of the community and the school. The citizens of the community play a role in student success by staying informed of issues regarding education in the area and voting on educational policies. The school can also consult with the community incorporate culturally inclusive lessons into the classroom (FOCUS St. Louis, 2005). Finally, school staff, principals,
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