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Accountability and Standards-Based Reform

In a basic sense, accountability means nothing more than being responsible for one’s actions and being willing to be answerable for them. In recent decades, however, the idea of accountability has become a central notion in new forms of governance in both the public and the private sector. This entry first examines the role of accountability in the governance and management of contemporary education, particularly in relation to standards-based educational reform—that is, the reform of education driven by setting and assessing standards of achievement. The entry then highlights some of the problems with the impact of accountability regimes on educational practice.

Accountability, Responsibility, and Management

That schools should be accountable is, in itself, a claim that few would wish to dispute. Yet there are three critical questions ...

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