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Friday, January 18, 2019
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Improving Accountability Models in Public Education: Applying Logic Models of Performance Management

Within the field of education administration and education policy a substantial body of literature has accumulated on the issue of accountability, especially as manifest in performance measurement and performance management approaches. Most of the effort in these areas has focused on the “high stakes” approach to accountability, as exemplified by the No Child Left Behind legislation in the United States. While this approach to accountability in the publicly funded K-12 educational system has had a dramatic impact, the failings of the approach as planning and evaluation methods are increasingly apparent.

In this paper, the authors examine the current use of accountability framework models as they relate to publicly funded education in North America and compare them to more complex models developed in the field of public administration and public policy. They find that, in general, the models employed in public K-12 education are overly narrow in perspective, as compared to public sector accountability frameworks such as the logic model. As a result, educational models appear too restrictive regarding the nature of accountability they engender within the system. These models also are unduly limiting in their likely effectiveness in supporting research and the development of educational method and policies which support broad social goals. This unnecessary limitation is especially clear in examination of the available literature from other social sciences indicating a strong linkage between education effort and social outcomes.


Jim Marshall and Larry Steeves

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