Subscribe Today
Home Articles Reader Opinion Editorial Book Reviews Discussion Writers Guide About TCRecord
transparent 13

Standards, Accountability, and School Reform: Perils and Pitfalls

by Kennon M. Sheldon & Bruce J. Biddle - 1998

This article examines current debates about educational standards, accountability systems, and school reform from the perspective of Deci and Ryanís Self-Determination Theory. Evidence from this twenty-five year tradition of research reveals various perils associated with rigid standards, narrow accountability, and tangible sanctions that can debase the motivations and performances of teachers and students. Teachers faced with reforms that stress such practices may become controlling, unresponsive to individual students, and alienated. Test- and sanction-focused students may lose intrinsic interest in subject matter, learn at only a superficial level, and fail to develop a desire for future learning. Thus, although reforms that stress standards, accountability, and sanctions may (or may not) succeed in raising test scores, they are also likely to sabotage a key goal of education-creating a flexible population of life-long learners who can adjust to the changing needs of society and the workplace. Alternative strategies for reform are suggested that place greater stress on trust, teacher professionalism, and responsive education for students.

To view the full-text for this article you must be signed-in with the appropriate membership. Please review your options below:

Store a cookie on my computer that will allow me to skip this sign-in in the future.
Send me my password -- I can't remember it
Purchase this Article
Purchase Standards, Accountability, and School Reform: Perils and Pitfalls
Individual-Resource passes allow you to purchase access to resources one resource at a time. There are no recurring fees.
Become a Member
Online Access
With this membership you receive online access to all of TCRecord's content. The introductory rate of $25 is available for a limited time.
Print and Online Access
With this membership you receive the print journal and free online access to all of TCRecord's content.

Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 100 Number 1, 1998, p. 164-180
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 10304, Date Accessed: 9/24/2021 2:52:29 AM

Purchase Reprint Rights for this article or review
Article Tools
Related Articles

Related Discussion
Post a Comment | Read All

About the Author
  • Kennon Sheldon
    University of Missouri

  • Bruce Biddle
    University of Missouri

Member Center
In Print
This Month's Issue