Accountability to build school and system improvement capacity

Melanie Ehren*, Reinhard Bachmann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


Accountability plays a key role in both the exchange of resources as well as in enhancing the capacity to provide for and improve the quality of education. The effect works through a number of interactions which vary depending on the extent to which formal monitoring and assessment interventions (such as through national assessments or inspections) support school improvement, and the extent to which accountability systems build system capacity for change by aligning actions of stakeholders and by promoting trust in education systems. Capacity is also a condition for the implementation of accountability interventions, as systems need capacity to hold schools accountable. Englert et al. (2007) and Eddy-Spicer et al. (2016) discuss the knowledge and skills required of various groups of educators to implement assessment and accountability systems, while the same groups need to have the capacity to act on performance feedback from these systems to improve their work. This chapter discusses the intricate relation between capacity and accountability and how accountability constraints or supports system-wide improvement through their normalisation and coordination of standards of high-quality education. We argue that...
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTrust, Accountability and Capacity in Education System Reform
Subtitle of host publicationGlobal Perspectives in Comparative Education
EditorsMelanie Ehren, Jacqueline Baxter
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9780429344855
ISBN (Print)9780367362478, 9780367362492
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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