The Failure of Test-Based Accountability

Newspaper article

In this first post in a three-part series, Marc Tucker concludes:

"Test-based accountability and teacher evaluation systems are not neutral in their effect. It is not simply that they fail to improve student performance. \Their pernicious effect is to create an environment that could not be better calculated to drive the best practitioners out of teaching and to prevent the most promising young people from entering it. If we want broad improvement in student performance and we want to close the gap between disadvantaged students and the majority of our students, then we will abandon test-based accountability and teacher evaluation as key drivers of our education reform program.But no one, certainly not me, would argue that we should not hold our professional educators accountable for their performance. The question is, what would accountability look like if we actually regarded our teachers as professionals doing professional work, instead of interchangeable blue-collar workers doing blue-collar work?"