What’s Wrong with Accountability by the Numbers?
by Richard Rothstein
American Educator (AFT)
How do you know if a school is good, bad, or in-between? Are test scores, graduation rates, attendance data, and the like all you need? What if you were selecting a school for your child? Would you just review a school’s report card online, or would you schedule a visit so that you could get to know the principal, observe a few classes, and even interview some students? Would you contact some parents, check out the neighborhood, and look for nearby after-school activities? We hope that you would both pay attention to the data and pay a visit to the school. And so we wonder: why would our education accountability system do anything less?
In this article, Richard Rothstein explores the well-established problems—in education, health care, and other fields—with accountability systems that focus exclusively on quantitative data.
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