Monday, October 11, 2010

Topic: Accountability, Assessment and Responsibility

10-second review: This is a very long article that criticizes the failures of “accountability” and suggests that teachers and professional organizations need to re-direct accountability to take responsibility for assessment.

Title: “Responsibility and Composition’s Future in the Twenty-First Century: Reframing ‘Accountability.’ ” L Adler-Kassner and S Harrington. College Composition and Communication (September 2010), 73-89.

Quote: “With regard to assessment, a complicated future lies ahead—and assessment is everything. Whether we can ever dismantle the accountability frame isn’t the question; the question is whether we can redirect it. The responsibility frame offers an opportunity to claim ownership of our assessment practices and claim a public voice now and into that future.”

Comment: One of the mistakes I made as a K-12 supervisor was my focus on building curriculum without paying at least as much attention to organizing assessment of the curriculum. If I’ve learned anything from the experience of “accountability,” it is that we need to take care of our own houses or others will do it for us. We need to pay as much attention to assessing the product of our curriculums as to building them. This assessment must be so clear that there can be little doubt as to its success or failure or need for adjustment. RayS.

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