At-risk student averse: Risk management and accountability

Vasquez Heilig, J., Young, M. & Williams, A. (2012). At-risk student averse: Risk management and accountability. Journal of Educational Administration, 50(5).

The prevailing theory of action underlying accountability is that holding schools and students accountable will increase educational output. While accountability’s theory of action intuitively seemed plausible, at the point of No Child Left Behind’s national implementation, little empirical research was available to either support or critique accountability claims or to predict the long term impact of accountability systems on the success of at-risk students and the schools that served them.  The findings reported in this paper challenge the proposition that accountability improves the educational outcomes of atrisk students and indicates that low-performing Texas high schools, when faced with the press of accountability, tend to mirror corporate risk management processes with unintended consequences for at-risk students. Low-scoring at-risk students were often viewed as liabilities by school personnel who, in their scramble to meet testing thresholds and accountability goals, were at-risk student averse— implementing practices designed to “force kids out of school.”

About these ads

Tags: , , , , ,

Categories: Accountability, African Americans, High-Stakes Testing, Latina/os

Author:Julian Vasquez Heilig

Julian Vasquez Heilig is currently an Associate Professor of Educational Policy and Planning and African and African Diaspora Studies (by courtesy) at the University of Texas at Austin.

Social Media

Subscribe to my RSS feed and social profiles to receive updates.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Improving Education through Accountability and Evaluation: Lessons from Around the World | Cloaking Inequity - August 2, 2012

    [...] of Employment, Social Affairs in Rome, Italy, October 3-5, 2012. I will discuss the At-Risk Student Averse research published in Journal of Educational Administration. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike [...]

  2. Bad Apples?: Accountability, AYP, and Cheating | Cloaking Inequity - August 10, 2012

    [...] Paso and Atlanta are recent, but not isolated examples. The real issue is that accountability incentivizes “push out” secondary students who score poorly on high-stakes exams such as the STAAR. I blame [...]

  3. From Rome with Love: International Perspectives and Experiences with Accountability | Cloaking Inequity - November 1, 2012

    [...] Commission Directorate-General of Employment, Social Affairs in Rome, Italy. I discussed the At-Risk Student Averse research published in Journal of Educational Administration. See the powerpoint slides [...]

  4. Race and NCLB Waivers: Moving Around the Chairs? | Cloaking Inequity - November 25, 2012

    [...] year. Another benefit of this approach is that low-performing schools would not need to be risk-averse towards students that they see as liabilities to accountability ratings because they could focus on [...]

  5. Students get some relief/freedom from testing in Texas? | Cloaking Inequity - May 28, 2013

    […] more on Texas role as a progenitor of high-stakes testing and accountability check out At-risk student averse: Risk management and accountability and Accountability Texas-style: The progress and learning of urban minority students in a […]

  6. Breaking News: Leno on Latest TX Education Miracle | Cloaking Inequity - August 13, 2013

    […] testing and accountability) for nearly 20 years. President Bush and DOEd Secretary Paige lassoed NCLB directly from Texas. Thus, the shenanigans associated with the high-stakes system are perfected in the Lonestar State […]

  7. Sins of Omission: One Little-Known Way Schools Can Cheat the System - September 27, 2013

    […] researcher Julian Vazquez Heilig has been studying this problem for years, and he says it’s the same problem behind scandals in Ysleta ISD and Houston a […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,561 other followers

%d bloggers like this: