Monday, January 26, 2009

Getting Accountability Right

This article summarizes on of the main arguments in his recent book. For a review by FairTest of the book, see

The book is very much worth a read.

Monty Neil of FairTest

Education Week

Published Online: January 23, 2009
Published in Print: January 28, 2009

Getting Accountability Right

By Richard Rothstein

The federal No Child Left Behind Act has succeeded in highlighting the poor math and reading skills of disadvantaged children. But on balance, the law has done more harm than good because it has terribly distorted the school curriculum. Modest modifications cannot correct this distortion. Designing a better accountability policy will take time. We cannot and should not abandon school accountability, but it's time to go back to the drawing board to get accountability right.

The first step is to understand today's curricular distortion. It has arisen because No Child Left Behind holds schools accountable for only some of their many goals. When we demand adequate math and reading scores alone, educators rationally respond by transferring resources to math and reading instruction (and drill) from social studies, history, science, the arts and music, character development, citizenship education, emotional and physical health, and physical fitness.

Read rest of article here.

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