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Grading Education: Getting Accountability Right


reviewed by Leslie S. Kaplan & William A. Owings — January 15, 2009

coverTitle: Grading Education: Getting Accountability Right
Author(s): Richard Rothstein, Rebecca Jacobsen, and Tamara Wilder (Eds.)
Publisher: Teachers College Press, New York
ISBN: 0807749397, Pages: 280, Year: 2008
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Politicians and policy makers have rushed to develop accountability systems that might increase public service efficiency without giving enough thought to whether these systems actually measure what they should. Test scores alone should not – and cannot – define school effectiveness. Exclusively quantitative accountability systems in a wide variety of fields result in goal distortion and gaming, corrupting the very processes they intend to monitor. This is not news. What would be news is a feasible plan for better accountability. In Grading Education. Getting Accountability Right, Richard Rothstein and his colleagues offer a relevant perspective and some promising ideas. In Grading Education, Rothstein, Jacobsen, and Wilder credibly argue that in spite of No Child Left Behind’s (NCLB) assessment mania, testing alone does not address the goals that our society values. Using engaging examples from business, government, and education, the authors explain why NCLB’s narrow focus on reading and mathematics achievement... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: January 15, 2009
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 15482, Date Accessed: 10/20/2017 5:45:07 PM

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About the Author
  • Leslie Kaplan

    LESLIE S. KAPLAN, Ed.D., a retired school administrator, is an education researcher and writer. She serves on the editorial board for the National Association of Secondary School Principals’ Bulletin. She and William A. Owings, Ed.D. have coauthored two dozen articles in refereed professional journals, written several books, monographs, and book chapters about teacher quality, school leadership, school finance, effective schools, and student achievement. She and Dr. Owings are currently completing an educational foundations textbook for Wadsworth/Cengage and are co-editors-in-chief of the Journal for Effective Schools.
  • William Owings
    Old Dominion University
    E-mail Author
    WILLIAM A. OWINGS, Ed.D., is a professor of educational leadership at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. A former principal, assistant superintendent, and division superintendent, Dr. Owings has served 20 years on the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development’s national board. He serves on the editorial advisory board of Journal for School Finance. With Dr. Kaplan, Dr. Owings’ research agenda includes the impact of teacher quality, principal quality and fiscal effort on student achievement. Dr. Owings and Dr. Kaplan are the 2008 co-recipients of the Virginia Educational Research Association’s Charles Edgar Clear Award for Consistent and Significant Research and Scholarship.
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