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Turning the Accountability Tables: Ten Progressive Lessons from One 'Backward' State


In this engaging article, Chris Gallagher details how Nebraska educators have turned the tables on accountability by placing utmost importance on how each accountability measure affects teaching and learning. He outlines ten characteristics of the Nebraska STARS accountability system, and explains how teachers can "put pressure on their states to do the right things rather than do things right."

"For too long, teachers have been forced into a defensive posture, having to protect their professionalism and their students' learning from accountability hawks who know little about teaching and learning. But who is keeping the accountability hawks accountable? Who is ensuring that their goals and practices are good for students and teachers? Who is insisting that their proposed sanctions, for instance, improve learning? To be sure, we -- the public, higher education, publications such as the Kappan -- should all be doing this work together. But as Nebraska educators have taught me, teachers -- the professionals who stand at the point of contact with students and communities -- are the best positioned to help us ask better questions and to turn the accountability tables."