Accountability In Education
In recent years, one of the most pressing trends in education is that of accountability. More and more communities are holding schools, administrators, and teachers accountable for their students' overall progress, something that is not without considerable praise and criticism. In state capitals throughout the nation, lawmakers are using accountability to guide their funding of educational institutions; if schools cannot prove that the money they are being given is producing measurable results, they are at risk of having that funding reduced or removed.
Generally speaking, those schools who underperform are penalized while those who exceed standards are rewarded. For some, though, this approach is counterintuitive. There are many who argue that underperforming schools clearly need additional support:
- If teachers are not able to effectively provide instruction for whatever reason, one of the potential solutions is to provide them with greater funding for educational supplies and academic material.
- Schools that are exceeding standards may not need all the funds they are receiving; if they can achieve similar results with slightly less funding, there are those who believe those funds should be diverted to underperforming schools.
The goal in this approach is to ensure educators and administrators alike are using state and federal funding wisely, providing students with the best possible education with as little waste as possible. Teachers who are paid sizeable salaries and who do not take necessary steps toward student success are one of the targets in this approach; schools who are not mindful with their spending are equally targeted in this reduction of funding for those who underperform. Ultimately, though, it is the students that suffer the most. If their teachers or school administrators are behaving incorrectly, the students will only see a further reduction in their overall opportunities. Instead of tying funds to student outcomes, some argue, analysis should be done of the educator and administrator performance, as they are ultimately responsible for what goes on in the classroom.