The SAGE Handbook of School Organization presents a substantial review of the history, current status and future prospects of the field of school organization. Bringing together chapters exploring key issues, important debates and points of tension, the Handbook highlights the dynamics and interplay of the political, social, historical and cultural contexts of the field. This volume is designed to provide a much-needed critically informed and coherent account of the field, against a backdrop of increasing complexity in which schooling as an institution and schools as organizations operate. Part I: Schools as organizations; Part II: The leadership, management and governance of schools as organizations; Part III: Theoretical perspectives on schools as organizations; Part IV: Organizing in schools; and Part V: Researching schools as organizations.

Schools as Organizations: Accountability Concerns
Schools as Organizations: Accountability Concerns
Melanie Ehren
Introduction

School accountability has been a key driver for education system reform in many countries over the last decade. An report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD, 2013) shows how external accountability, such as high-stakes testing or school inspections, is often introduced to counterbalance the greater decision-making powers in schools and provide safeguards for the autonomy of head teachers and teachers. Some countries have also introduced external accountability in response to international league tables: a well-known example is Germany where school inspections were rolled out across the country in the wake of disappointing PISA results. The purpose of external accountability varies, as well as what schools are held ...

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