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Accountability in Public Education

..It's time to put more money, better tracking of teachers' performance, higher standards and real accountability behind the law. Let me be clear: If a teacher is given a chance, or three chances, but still does not improve, there is no excuse for that person to continue teaching...I reject a system that rewards failure and protects a person from its consequences.

----President Obama at the 19th annual Legislative Conference of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Washington on Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Dinan (2009) reports that the last few decades have seen an intense national push for 'accountability' in the American educational system, a term that can be defined as holding educators responsible for meeting identified student achievement goals using methods of planning, evaluation, and reporting (Hopmann, 2008). The purpose of this paper is to formulate and provide research support for the position statement that the national push for accountability has been a positive element for education and should, despite its problems, be continued in the future. In other words, the position taken in this paper is that accountability is mandatory for any effective educational system even if its implementation is accompanied by problems, and the national push for it is justified.

Review of the Accountability Research

The fact is that despite its problems, and it clearly is not without problems, accountability has improved education in America. The strongest evidence in support of this claims comes from a 2008 report on accountability put out by the United States Department of Education. This report calls the progress made as a result of the implementation of accountability practices and policies 'remarkable' and notes that, "Schools are expecting more from students. And our students are meeting the challenge, " (United States Department of Education, 2008, p. 1).

Among the many gains mentioned ...

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Accountability in Public Education. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 23:11, April 21, 2019, from