Test-Based Ratings for Schools

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Teachers who work in schools subjected to such programs report that their worries about the school's status and the shallowness of accountability evaluations consume their time and energy. Over time, these programs tend to generate the three A's, Anxiety, Anger, and Alienation.


And when teachers learn they have little ability to change unfair accountability systems, they become alienated--passive-aggressive members of a community, acting as obstructionists for other new ideas that come along. To say the least, this does not sound like a good recipe for improving American education (Vinson and Ross 101).
Administrators also feel pressure when accountability systems are adopted. They report that they must spend additional hours defending their schools' competitive standing with parents, teachers, and the media--hours that they once spent more productively (Callahan 1642).
In response to these worries and pressures, educators also begin to adjust the focus of their efforts. Over time, their curricula and teaching efforts become more standardized and superficial. Moreover, since they want their schools to look well on competitive tests, they tend to restrict instruction to the topics assessed by those tests. A sad example of how this process works was recently described by sociologists Jere Gilles, Simon Geletta, and Cortney Daniels. In 1993 the State of Missouri created an accountability program designed around a new assessment instrument, the Missouri Mastery Achievement Test. ...
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