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School Accountability

In: Handbook of the Economics of Education

Author

Listed:
  • Figlio, David
  • Loeb, Susanna

Abstract

School accountability--the process of evaluating school performance on the basis of student performance measures--is increasingly prevalent around the world. In the United States, accountability has become a centerpiece of both Democratic and Republican federal administrations' education policies. This chapter reviews the theory of school-based accountability, describes variations across programs, and identifies key features influencing the effectiveness and possible unintended consequences of accountability policies. The chapter then summarizes the research literature on the effects of test-based accountability on students and teachers, concluding that the preponderance of evidence suggests positive effects of the accountability movement in the United States during the 1990s and early 2000s on student achievement, especially in math. The effects on teachers and on students' long-run outcomes are more difficult to judge. It is also clear that school personnel respond to accountability in both positive and negative ways, and that accountability systems run the risk of being counter-productive if not carefully thought out and monitored.

Suggested Citation

  • Figlio, David & Loeb, Susanna, 2011. "School Accountability," Handbook of the Economics of Education, in: Erik Hanushek & Stephen Machin & Ludger Woessmann (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Education, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 8, pages 383-421, Elsevier.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:educhp:3-08
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Peter Temin, 2002. "Teacher Quality and the Future of America," NBER Working Papers 8898, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Hanushek, Eric A. & Link, Susanne & Woessmann, Ludger, 2013. "Does school autonomy make sense everywhere? Panel estimates from PISA," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 212-232.
    3. Firpo, Sergio & Ponczek, Vladimir & Possebom, Vítor Augusto, 2014. "Private Education Market, Information on Test Scores and Tuition Practices," IZA Discussion Papers 8476, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Piopiunik, Marc & Schwerdt, Guido & Woessmann, Ludger, 2013. "Central school exit exams and labor-market outcomes," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 93-108.
    5. Woo, Seokjin & Lee, Soohyung & Kim, Kyunghee, 2015. "Carrot and stick?: Impact of a low-stakes school accountability program on student achievement," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 195-199.
    6. Atuhurra, Julius F., 2016. "Does community involvement affect teacher effort? Assessing learning impacts of Free Primary Education in Kenya," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 234-246.
    7. Bertoni, Marco & Brunello, Giorgio & Rocco, Lorenzo, 2013. "When the cat is near, the mice won't play: The effect of external examiners in Italian schools," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 65-77.
    8. Eric A. Hanushek & Paul E. Peterson & Laura M. Talpey & Ludger Woessmann, 2019. "The Unwavering SES Achievement Gap: Trends in U.S. Student Performance," NBER Working Papers 25648, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Jesse Rothstein, 2015. "Teacher Quality Policy When Supply Matters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(1), pages 100-130, January.
    10. Derek Neal, 2011. "The Design of Performance Pay in Education," NBER Working Papers 16710, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. repec:eee:injoed:v:60:y:2018:i:c:p:80-87 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Helen F. Ladd & Douglas L. Lauen, 2010. "Status versus growth: The distributional effects of school accountability policies," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(3), pages 426-450.
    13. Hugh Macartney & Robert McMillan & Uros Petronijevic, 2018. "Teacher Performance and Accountability Incentives," Working Papers tecipa-610, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    14. Hege Marie Gjefsen & Trude Gunnes, 2015. "School accountability Incentives or sorting?," Discussion Papers 815, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    15. David Figlio & Mark Rush & Lu Yin, 2013. "Is It Live or Is It Internet? Experimental Estimates of the Effects of Online Instruction on Student Learning," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(4), pages 763-784.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Accountability; Achievement; Education; NCLB;

    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education

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