Getting Accountability Right

Richard Rothstein, Research Associate at the Economic Policy Institute

Tuesday, March 3, 2009 (All day)

From 1999 to 2002 Richard Rothstein was the national education columnist of The New York Times. His recent book, Grading Education: Getting Accountability Right (Teachers College Press, 2008, http://www.epi.org/content.cfm/books_grading_education) was the basis for his talk. Rothstein argues that we should hold public schools accountable for effectively spending the vast funds with which they have been entrusted. But instead of grading a school's progress in just math and reading (No Child Left Behind), we should hold schools accountable for the broad outcomes we expect from public education - basic knowledge and skills, critical thinking, an appreciation of the arts, physical and emotional health, and preparation for skilled employment - and then develop the means to measure, and ensure, schools' success in achieving them.

Rothstein's presentation at the University of Pittsburgh's Learning Policy Center describes a new kind of accountability plan for public education, one that relies upon both higher-quality testing and professional evaluation.

From 1999 to 2002 he was the national education columnist of The New York Times. Rothstein's recent book is Grading Education: Getting Accountability Right (Teachers College Press, 2008, http://www.epi.org/content.cfm/books_grading_education). He was a member of the national task force that drafted the statement, "A Broader, Bolder Approach to Education" (www.boldapproach.org), and is also the author of Class and Schools: Using Social, Economic and Educational Reform to Close the Black-White Achievement Gap (2004) and The Way We Were? Myths and Realities of America's Student Achievement (1998). He can be contacted at rrothstein@epi.org.