Download Accountability Frankenstein. Understanding and Taming the by Sherman Dorn PDF

By Sherman Dorn

To appreciate the present second in class responsibility, one needs to comprehend the bigger contradictions in schooling politics. responsibility Frankenstein presents a broader standpoint at the college responsibility debate by way of exploring the contradictions inherent in high-stakes checking out. responsibility Frankenstein explains the historic and social origins of test-based responsibility: the political roots of responsibility, why we belief attempt ratings whereas we mistrust lecturers, the assumptions in the back of formulaic responsibility platforms, and the weaknesses with the present carrot-and-stick method of motivating academics. responsibility Frankenstein solutions the questions of educators and fogeys who are looking to comprehend the origins of responsibility. This publication demanding situations the ideals of fierce advocates and competitors of highstakes trying out. It presents a rescue plan for responsibility after the disasters of high-stakes checking out, a plan to make responsibility shrewdpermanent, democratic, and actual.

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Extra resources for Accountability Frankenstein. Understanding and Taming the Monster

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While legislators were experimenting, their actions clearly suggested a focus on education as investment. Among the three elements in the 1970s—a fiscal metaphor, standardized testing, and graduation tests—the common theme of accountability was a human-capital argument. Essentially, the argument for all three was that a state was investing in its children’s education and should watch over that investment. That humancapital argument was neither new nor applied solely to accountability. For at least a decade, discussions of schooling and its problems were phrased in human-capital terms.

The dominant discussion in popular news media revolved instead around declining test scores, the presumed responsibility of schools for national economic decline, and how to tighten academic standards (Berliner & Biddle, 1995; Bracey, 1995). Few mentioned changes in the federal budget or privatization proposals, even though one was a concrete policy of the Reagan administration and the other was a radical proposal for changing the governance of schools. Ironically, the dominant discussion suppressed issues which concerned both liberals (upset at budget priorities) and social conservatives (wanting vouchers).

Today, the concept of local control often refers to state prerogative as much as local authority. In that redefinition, the rhetoric of local control has limited federal control over education. Thus, the No Child Left Behind Act mandates that states receiving Title I funding agree to assess children annually in Grades 3-8 in reading and math but not which test is used or what a test precisely covers. In the Clinton and both Bush presidencies, efforts to create national tests or curriculum standards foundered or were negotiated away.

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