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Educational Accountability and American Federalism: Moving Beyond a Test-Based Approach

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John Portz, Professor of Political Science; Director, Master and PhD Programs in Political Science

  • This book offers important insights into the complex nature of educational accountability and its role in supporting school improvement. By developing two key concepts – educational accountability and American federalism – the book highlights various types of accountability that take place in different institutional settings.
  • By moving beyond the long-standing, test-based, administrative approach to accountability, the author demonstrates how professional, market, and political accountability affect teaching, learning, and educational policymaking. The book examines four accountability types: administrative accountability, professional accountability, market accountability, and political accountability. The volume questions why these accountability types vary in their development and use across the country, and considers how American federalism – national, state, and local – provides different political arenas with variation in ideas, interests, and institutions that prompt different policymaking approaches. The book concludes with a two-tier proposal for internal accountability organized around teacher professionalism and external accountability combining elements of school choice and public deliberation.
  • This volume will be important reading for scholars and researchers in Federalism, Education Policy, and Public Administration. It will also be beneficial reading for policymakers, think tanks, and community organizations.

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