Is Test-Based Accountability Dead?

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Three experts weigh in, and look to the future



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SUMMER 2017 / VOL. 17, NO. 3

Since the 2001 passage of the No Child Left Behind Act, test-based accountability has been an organizing principle—perhaps the organizing principle—of efforts to improve American schools. But lately, accountability has been under fire from many critics, including Common Core opponents and those calling for more multifaceted measures of teacher and school performance. And yet the Every Student Succeeds Act, NCLB’s successor law, still mandates standardized testing of students and requires states to have accountability systems. So: is accountability on the wane, or is it here to stay? If accountability is indeed dying, would its loss be good or bad for students?

In this issue’s forum, we present three different viewpoints on those questions from Morgan S. Polikoff, associate professor of education at the University of Southern California’s Rossier School of Education; Jay P. Greene, professor of education at the University of Arkansas; and Kevin Huffman, former Tennessee commissioner of education.

 

Why Accountability Matters, and Why It Must Evolve
by Morgan S. Polikoff

 

 

 

 

Futile Accountability Systems Should Be Abandoned
by Jay P. Greene

 

 

 

 

If Parents Push for It, Accountability Can Work
by Kevin Huffman

 

 




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