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High-Stakes Accountability, State Oversight, and Educational Equity


by Heinrich Mintrop — 2004

This article argues that outcome-based accountability systems are not likely to close the achievement gap. Using California as an example, it suggests that states need to pay closer attention to learning conditions and powerful programs that deliver quality interventions. The article describes the design of the California low-performing schools program, discusses reasons for its limited effectiveness, and suggests design features that may increase the chances for the state to reach its equity goals. The article argues with an eye on California that input-based design features ought to complement outcome-based accountability. Such designs require standards for adequate learning conditions alongside performance standards, mechanisms to detect systemic performance barriers, and the provision of sophisticated evaluation, high-quality support, and consequences for responsible actors.


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 106 Number 11, 2004, p. 2128-2145
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 12761, Date Accessed: 12/20/2014 6:41:08 PM

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About the Author
  • Heinrich Mintrop
    University of California, Los Angeles
    E-mail Author
    HEINRICH MINTROP is an associate professor and codirector of the Principal Leadership Institute at UCLA. He conducts research on the politics and practice of school improvement. His recent emphasis has been the study of standards-based reform and accountability systems in the United States and Europe. He is the author of the book Schools on Probation: How Accountability Works (And Doesn’t Work), recently published by Teachers College Press.
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