Accountability involves making a judgment about the extent to which individuals or groups have fulfilled the responsibilities that they have accepted. The responsibilities for educational outcomes reside with all members of the system that facilitate learning and development. Students, teachers, administrators, parents, school boards, local agencies, state agencies, and federal policy makers share implicit or explicit responsibilities for educational outcomes. Accountability can therefore only be understood by recognizing and examining the nature of the responsibilities accepted by the participants and the actions taken by the participants to fulfill their responsibilities.
Educational accountability is often viewed as the mechanism for placing blame when individuals or groups fail to achieve to expectations. We believe that it is more important to be concerned about responsibility for improvement and reform than about responsibility for current and past educational outcomes. It is important to understand the conditions, practices and policies that have influenced achievement in a classroom, school, district or state. Previous outcomes and the factors that impacted on educational outcomes are important because they provide insight about appropriate goals and strategies for improving future achievement.
Individuals and groups who seek to support the education, development, or health of others are courageous in accepting the responsibilities inherent with helping relationships. They should be recognized for their courage, supported in their commitment, and guided in their efforts to improve effectiveness.
The Center is happy to be a small part in the struggle to support educational progress. Our web page describes our mission, goals, history, staff, and activities. We hope that you will find this information beneficial. Please let us know if we can be of assistance.
Scott Snyder, Ph.D.