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Accountability for the mission: A case study on internal accountability systems at the secondary school level

Posted on:2008-08-17Degree:Ph.DType:Dissertation
University:Drexel UniversityCandidate:Boone, Linda HuskeyFull Text:PDF
Research (Gareis, 1996; Robertson, 2000; Stemler & Bebell, 1999) regarding K-12 mission statements shows that while academic achievement appears frequently as a component in these statements, it is neither the sole nor often the top priority of schools. Policymakers at the federal and state levels seeking greater accountability for results, on the other hand, appear to focus primarily on schools' abilities to improve students' academic achievement as demonstrated through standardized testing. Using the concepts of internal and external accountability (Abelmann & Elmore, 1999; Elmore & Fuhrman, 2001; Newmann, Kingdon & Rigdon, 1997) this case study examined three high schools to determine: (1) what are the multiple purposes or desired outcomes of schools articulated via mission statements, (2) what tools of external accountability exist to measure the multiple purposes of schools, (3) what kinds of internal accountability systems are in place to evaluate schools' effectiveness in meeting stated purposes, and (4) what impediments exist that prevent schools from developing internal accountability systems for their outcomes. Results of the study indicated that academic, affective and environmental expectations can be identified in mission statements, but external tools of accountability exist only for academic outcomes. Internal norms were identified in all three high schools that pointed to their ability to address the multiple purposes espoused in their respective missions, but no systems of internal accountability could be shown that pointed to how a school formally or informally evaluated its effectiveness in meeting its mission.
Keywords/Search Tags:Mission, Accountability, Academic
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