Educational Studies 42 (2):139-155 (2007)

Sarah Stitzlein
University of Cincinnati
Education is experiencing a case of misplaced accountability, where an exclusive reliance on high stakes tests overlooks the more subtle judgments of teachers and professional educators and, because of its simplicity, passes as democratic. This article investigates the theoretical underpinnings of current accountability initiatives and draws upon extensive teacher interviews to reveal the practical aspects of accountability pressures in schools today. We provide a discussion of local teacher knowledge that exposes teachers' commitments to a deeper sense of successful education that is eclipsed by testing and that offers a richer resource for improving classrooms and educational outcomes. We provide a discussion of educational foundations and policy that rethinks democratic goals and encourages educationists to shift the current debate in order to make accountability truly democratic. This article suggests that the contemporary climate of accountability may be misplaced in its intentions
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DOI 10.1080/00131940701513235
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