ESE 4934 research paper Final.docx

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Accountability in Education What is accountability in education? Accountability in education is the idea that academic achievement and learning is a responsibility that should be heavily reinforced. According to McKenzie and Kress (2015), School districts should be held responsible by policymakers and taxpayers if they did not provide an adequate education for all students. This idea of school accountability has three major components to it. Developing academic standards, measuring student progress based on the given standards, and enforcing the desired outcome with consequences. The first essential element of accountability is the use of academic standards. Individuals who are held accountable for student success must know and act based on the clearly expressed indicators of what it means for a student to achieve success. Specifically, standards define what students should know and be able to do in a subject area at each grade level in k-12 education (Powell, 2012, 69). It is important to hold students to high expectations so that they can develop the skills necessary to succeed in adulthood and in the workforce. These skills include: problem solving, critical thinking, diligence, tenacity, respect, tolerance, and good judgement. While the teacher may influence some of these nonacademic specific skill sets, academic standards accurately ensure the development of students’ fluid and crystalized intelligence in the standard’s respective subject area if they are met. The next major component of accountability is measurement. If Academic standards set the bar for student achievement, then there must be some form of assessment to make sure that the standards are being met. The only way to do this is to administer valid assessments that are aligned with the given academic standards. Once the results of these assessments are translated and recorded, the data from these results can inform stakeholders on pertinent information and give them the knowledge they need to make important decisions. From a teacher’s perspective, 4
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Accountability in Education the results from a given assessment can let her know what specific areas her students are struggling in so that she or he can modify his or her instruction to better accommodate the students. From a policy maker’s perspective, the average of scores on standards-based assessments can help refine their policies to place more emphasis in the areas where students are underachieving. From the parent’s perspective, their child’s test results can show where they (the parents), the teacher, or a tutor may need to focus on to ensure the child’s success. The parent may also use schoolwide assessment averages as a determining factor of whether they want to enroll their child in a specific school depending on how well or poorly the school is performing on average in standards based assessments.
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