In this chapter, the authors propose and evaluate an accountability system based on indicators that combine elements of both inputs and outcomes. The authors stress the importance of ensuring that accountability systems in education are flexible and sensitive to the sometimes competing ends that schooling systems pursue. This approach places considerable emphasis on open inquiry and discussion between centralized authorities and constituent schooling units. The authors envision a four phase accountability strategy which attempts to move the system away from a reliance on penalties and rewards and toward a system based on cooperation and communication. An overview of an effort to implement this kind of approach in New York State is provided.
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