Commentary on the Future of High Stakes Testing & Accountability Systems

by Diana Abbati Dr. Diana Abbati is the Superintendent of the Los
Educational consultant, Dr. Diana Abbati begins her commentary on the future of state and federal accountability systems with a focus on what motivates educators to develop ambitious and equitable goals in the areas of instructional quality and student engagement.

Future of Accountability Systems

As I reflect upon my own experiences as an educator, I cannot help but think that while external accountability systems play a role in ensuring that the United States has a competitive, competent workforce, the overall goal of student achievement begins at each and every school. For example, ambitious assessment practices that ensure instructional quality, equity and student engagement need to be developed by school teams made up of teachers and administrators. For example, the San Francisco Unified School District developed the Balanced Score Card program, which is a goal setting and accountability tool that addresses the goal horizons focused on access and equity, student engagement, and organizational effectiveness. 

Understanding Motivational Theories

The goal horizon ofimproving educational disparities needs to include educators’ levels of motivation since each school is tasked with implementing instructional practices that meet the diverse needs of students within their learning community.

In my quest to understand what motivates individuals to move towards a collective mindset based on the goal horizons of access and equity, I was drawn to the research on the effects of accountability on teacher motivation. A review of research on motivational theories informed me that instruction will change when teacher motivation moves from the individual to a collective responsibility. For example, the impact or effectiveness of any initiative will highly depend upon the organizational effectiveness of the entire organization. In Table 1, I summarize my findings with definitions of three areas of motivation as it pertains to accountability measures. The models include: (1) expectancy level motivation model; (2) goal setting motivation model; and (3) self-concept motivation model.

Final Thoughts

We have much to learn on the effects of accountability measures and motivational theories on education reform. In this article, I briefly touched upon some of the research on what motivates teachers to improve their instructional practice. Unfortunately, new accountability policies emergewith thechange of leadershipat the state and federal levels. If I were to summarize what an accountability system would look like that permits schools and districts with the right incentives to improve access and equity, it would begin by establishing the following assessment practices shaped by local context. 

  1. All stakeholders within the community believe that all students can achieve. I remain optimistic that we can achieve this across the nation.
  2. Teachers are provided the time, resources and training to unpack the content and performance standards and link the essential skills for competency to assessment practices.
  3. All students are assessed at the beginning of each year to determine the current level of performance. Achievement gaps are identified early on providing a roadmap for access and equity of the instructional program.
  4. Students are given intervention activities based on current needs and progress monitoring continues throughout the year.
  5. Students and parents receive frequent feedback while teams of teachers review data and make instructional decisions for group and individual students.
  6. Standardized tests provide real-time feedback on student’s overall progress so goals can be modified and changed in a dynamic manner.

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About Diana Abbati Junior   Dr. Diana Abbati is the Superintendent of the Los

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Joined APSense since, April 26th, 2018, From California, USA, United States.

Created on Jun 19th 2018 07:58. Viewed 489 times.


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