We most certainly need teacher accountability. But it should be the kind that builds capacity, not the kind that creates fear. Teachers should be accountable for grounding professional practices in the best available research, for maintaining a modern vision of what constitutes important mathematics, for providing students with engaging and relevant lessons and equitable opportunities to learn. I believe that accountability is the use of state created test to use to measure and evaluate the effectiveness of teachers, and to reward them with incentives in the form of rewards and punishments for schools and students to achieve.
It weeds out the teachers who fail to improve their teaching strategies through the use of professional development or through effective teaching strategies. As a teacher I feel that accountability is not fairly measured. I think that there are many other factors that measure a teacher’s accountability such as student work, observations, and teacher created assessments. I think that in order to hold the teacher solely accountable for student achievement that all areas need to be looked at. Accountability and high-stakes accountability vary to some degree.
Accountability is when an individual teacher is measured on the success of their students, and high-stakes accountability is when the effectiveness of the school as a whole is measured. Both accountability and high-stakes accountability are intended to improve teaching strategies, however, accountability allows teacher share ideas and best practices together to increase student performance. In high-stakes accountability there is no room for teacher collaboration; teachers are told what will work in order to improve.
Both accountability and high-stakes accountability provides incentives for the teachers, but high-stakes accountability has initiatives to instill dramatic improvements in school performance. It gives rewards to high achieving schools or by imposing stiff sanctions on low performing schools. The problem with high-stakes accountability sometimes allocates more resources to low performing schools to improve achievement, but they may not be the tools needed to improve school performance.
In conclusion, I think a large-scale test is too blunt an instrument to determine how effective a teacher is. Focusing teacher accountability on a state test causes teachers to narrow their curriculum to what’s on the test and ignore other legitimate learning objectives. Threatening teachers undermines the risk-taking approach that we sometimes need to change instructional practices. Rewards and sanctions mostly serve to cause compliance rather than commitment.