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Educational accountability

By Marriam Batool

“Knowledge and education in the hands of one who claims no higher accountability or authority than one’s individuality is power in the hands of a fool”  (Ravi Zacharias)

Accountability in Education is a broad concept that could be addressed in many ways, such as using political process to assure democratic accountability, introducing market-based reforms to increase accountability to parents and children, or developing peer-based accountability system to increase the professional accountability of the teachers. The most commonly considered definition of accountability involves using administrative data-based mechanism aimed at increasing student achievement.

Educational accountability targets either the process or result of education. A desired goal is identified ( e.g, compliance with the legal mandates of providing special education, highly qualified teachers, improved student performance) and measures are identified for determining whether the goal is met ( e.g, a checklist of indicators that the legal mandates have been met, a target of 90% correct for teachers taking a test of current knowledge and skills, a target of 60% students performing at grade level by the end of each school year).

In the field of education, there are three main types of accountability system that are sometimes applied simultaneously in education system.

  1. Compliance with regulation:

The first system demands compliance with statutes and regulations. In first system, educators were accountable for adherence to rules, and accountability to the bureaucracy.

  1. Adherence to professional norms:

The second system is based upon adherence to professional norms. Within this system, educators are accountable for adherence to standards and accountability their peers.

  1. Results driven:

The third accountability system is based upon results with results defined in terms of student learning. In these systems educators are accountable for student learning and accountable to the general public.

Educators often find themselves responding to all three systems, attempting to balance the requirements of each.

These accountability systems mainly focuses on school responsibility for student achievements, as in No Child Left Behind, demonstrates the components of Educational accountability systems.

Now, what are the components of a workable, defensible accountability system that is based primarily on results, while at the same time being attentive to professional norms and regulatory compliance requirements?

First, the system defines educators’ responsibility for all students, regardless of the advantages or disadvantages they bring to school. Second, the system must be built upon aligned components objectives, assessments, instruction, resources and reward or sanctions. Third, the technical aspects of the system must meet high standards. Forth, the system must provide the vehicle for positive change.

In United States of America, states at district level are working on the system of accountability through which they determine, whether the students are getting the quality education they deserve or not, and the school criteria is up to the law of state. Such tradition should be started in our country as well. Accountability system will bring change in our education system.

“A community without accountability doesn’t stand a chance.”    Charles E. Cox

The writer is a teacher at Garrison Academy. She can be contacted at parsamb.batool@gmail.com

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