Date of this Version
Education Policy Analysis Archives
In this article we discuss the effects of one urban school district's efforts to increase the autonomy and accountability of schools and teams of teachers through a standards-based reform known as team-based schooling. Team-based schooling is designed to devolve decision-making authority down to the school level by increasing teachers' autonomy to make decisions. Increased accountability is enacted in the form of a state-level standards-based initiative. Based on our evaluation over a two-year period involving extensive fieldwork and quantitative analysis, we describe the ways that teachers, teams and school administrators responded to the implementation of team-based schooling. What are the effects of increasing school-level autonomy and accountability in the context of standards- based reform? Our analysis highlights several issues: the "lived reality" of teaming as it interacts with the existing culture within schools, the ways that teachers respond to the pressures created by increased internal and external accountability, and the effects of resource constraints on the effectiveness of implementation. We conclude by using our findings to consider more broadly the trade-off between increased autonomy and accountability on which standards-based reforms like team-based schooling are based.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Readers are free to copy, display, and distribute articles that appear in Education Policy Analysis, as long as the work is attributed to the author(s) and Education Policy Analysis Archives, it is distributed for non-commercial purposes only, and no alteration or transformation is made in the work. All other uses must be approved by the author(s) or EPAA.
teachers, standards based reform, autonomy, accountability, team based schooling, fieldwork, quantitative
Watson, S., & Supovitz, J. A. (2001). Autonomy and Accountability in Standards-Based Reform. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 9 (32), http://dx.doi.org/10.14507/epaa.v9n32.2001
Date Posted: 17 June 2015
This document has been peer reviewed.