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Education Word Of The Week: Accountability
With all the talk of accountability in our schools lately, I think it’s time we took a closer look at what it actually means to be accountable in the world of education.
In layman’s terms, accountability is viewed as the responsibility to accomplish what is promised. In education, accountability is meant to require measurable proof that teachers, schools, districts and states are teaching students efficiently and well.
In most states, the form of measurement of student success is a standardized test. In Missouri, the measurement is the MAP, or Missouri Achievement Program.
In recent years, most accountability programs have involved adoption of state curriculum standards and required state tests based on the standards. Many political leaders and educators support this approach, believing that it brings clarity of focus and is improving achievement. Others argue that, because standardized tests cannot possibly measure all the important goals of schooling, accountability systems should be more flexible and use other types of information, such as dropout rates and samples of student work.
In Missouri, all schools receiving state and federal funding must administer MAP tests. Private schools are not required to administer the MAP and more often than not rely on alternative methods of accountability.
By Sharon Linde, Education Blogger for SmartParenting