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Redesigning Accountability Systems for Education


reviewed by Nicola A. Alexander — 2005

coverTitle: Redesigning Accountability Systems for Education
Author(s): Susan H. Fuhrman and Richard F. Elmore (Editors)
Publisher: Teachers College Press, New York
ISBN: 0807744255, Pages: 312, Year: 2004
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Accountability systems should be a “capacity meter” – a tool that gauges the ability of a system or its component parts to engender change. This knowledge would make it easier for policymakers to know which mechanism to use to reform schools. Should policymakers transfer power, provide inducements, or build capacity? The collection of conceptual and empirical essays in Redesigning Accountability Systems for Education makes it clear that we are in need of more knowledge before we can hope to gain the wisdom required to design adequate accountability frameworks. A crucial challenge noted by many of the authors is the difficulty of addressing differences among individuals or organizations without discriminating against them. While it is important to hold all students to high standards, as Siskin (Chapter 8) notes, “high does not necessarily mean [the] same” (p. 181). This important compendium has four major parts. Part I comprises two introductory chapters. Susan H. Fuhrman (Chapter 1), one of the co-editors, describes and summarizes each of the remaining book chapters.... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 107 Number 7, 2005, p. 1424-1427
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 11410, Date Accessed: 8/21/2017 7:57:05 AM

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About the Author
  • Nicola Alexander
    University of Minnesota
    E-mail Author
    NICOLA A. ALEXANDER is an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota. She is particularly interested in issues of adequacy, equity, and productivity as they relate to PK-12 education. An overriding concern in her research is an examination of the differential impact of educational policies on different groups and its implications for fairness. She is currently working on the interplay between institutional capacity and the adequacy of the school system as well as exploring the impact of charter schools on student achievement. Recent publications include, “Considering equity and adequacy: An examination of the distribution of student class time as an educational resource in New York State, 1975-1995” in Journal of Education Finance (2003) and “Race, poverty, and the student curriculum: Implications for standards policy” in American Educational Research Journal (2002).
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