Education J. Puryear Accountability And Public Education

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Education J. Puryear Accountability And Public Education

  1. 1. Accountability and Public Education in Latin America Jeffrey M. Puryear, Co-director (PREAL) Kingston, Jamaica – October 2008
  2. 2. Three Questions I. What is accountability in education? II. How far have we come? Experience from Latin America III. What are relatively successful education systems doing?
  3. 3. I. What is accountability in education?
  4. 4. Accountability in Education  It means setting goals and holding people responsible for achieving them (students, parents, teachers, principals, ministries, etc.)  It establishes clear incentives so that all actors in a school system perform at an appropriate level.  It helps to ensure that schools provide the expected level of education.
  5. 5. Three Components 1. Setting 3. Rewarding 2. Measuring clear and success and whether goals ambitious tackling are being met goals failure Latin America has improved in the first two components, but is lagging behind in the third.
  6. 6. 1. Setting clear and ambitious goals  If we do not specify at what level we want schools to perform, it is unlikely that they will reach this level.  One way of setting expectations in a school system is to adopt standards.  Standards serve as a common framework that sets forth our expectations of a school system.
  7. 7. 2. Measuring whether goals are being met  If we do not assess schools’ performance, we have no way of knowing whether they are achieving their goals.  One way of assessing whether schools are meeting their goals is through student achievement tests.  Test scores allow us to see how far we are from meeting our goals and how fast are we improving.
  8. 8. 3. Rewarding success and tackling failure  If we do not reward those who achieve goals, and we let others get away with not meeting them, it is likely that few will try to reach these goals.  There are at least four ways to ensure that schools face consequences for their performance—quality contracts, community participation, school choice, and teacher management.  If we intend to hold schools responsible for their results, we should make sure they have both the authority and the capacity to make key decisions.
  9. 9. II. How far have we come? Experience from Latin America
  10. 10. Some countries have begun to specify 1. Setting clear and what they expect of their school systems, ambitious expectations and others have promised to do so.  Argentina, Chile, Colombia, and Honduras have made progress in designing standards—and so have some states in Mexico and Brazil. Central American countries, Belize, and the Dominican Republic have committed to developing standards.  However, no country in Latin America has yet established, disseminated, and fully implemented comprehensive national standards in education.  Most countries that have adopted standards still need to make them more specific, and align them with the curriculum and achievement tests.
  11. 11. Most countries assess their students, but 2. Measuring not their teachers, and they lack robust whether goals are being met information systems.  Almost all countries have student achievement tests, but many of them do not disseminate the results, disaggregate scores by student, or tie the results to rewards or sanctions for schools, teachers, or students.  Very few countries evaluate teacher performance—only Colombia, Chile, Peru and El Salvador have begun to do so.  There are only a few national or regional statistics systems that are complete, up to date, and reliable.  Countries are increasingly participating in regional and international tests.
  12. 12. National Evaluation Lowest Level of Consequences System Distribution of Results Analysis for Results Argentina Yes Internal/External Province No Bolivia Yes Internal/External Department/ School No Brazil* Municipality/ School/ Yes Internal/External Some tests Student Chile* School/ Classroom/ Yes Internal/External Yes Student Colombia* Department/ School/ Yes Internal/External Some tests Student Costa Rica* Yes Internal/External National/ Student Some tests Cuba Yes Internal/External Municipality No Dominican Republic Yes Internal/External Student No Ecuador Yes Internal/External Region No El Salvador* Yes Internal/External Department/ Student Some tests Guatemala Yes External National/ Department No Honduras Yes Internal Department No Mexico* Yes Internal/External Region/ School/ Student Yes Nicaragua Yes Internal/External Department No Panama Yes Internal/External Region No Paraguay Yes Internal/External National/ School No Peru Yes Internal (External w/delay) National No Uruguay Yes (Mostly) Internal School No Venezuela No Internal State No
  13. 13. Trends in Latin American International Progress in Program of Laboratory of Mathematics and International Reading International Student Quality Science Study Literacy Study Assessment Assessment (TIMSS) (PIRLS) (PISA) (LLECE) Argentina 1995, 2003 2001 2000, 2006, (2009) 1998, 2006 Bolivia 1998 Brazil 2000, 2003, 2006, (2009) 1998, 2006 Chile 1999, 2003 2000, 2006, (2009) 1998, 2006 Colombia 1995, 2007 2001 2006, (2009) 1998, 2006 Costa Rica 1998, 2006 Cuba 1998, 2006 Dom. Rep. (2009) 1998, 2006 Ecuador 2006 El Salvador 2007 1998, 2006 Guatemala 2006 Honduras 2007 1998 Mexico 1995 2000, 2003, 2006, (2009) 1998, 2006 Nicaragua 2006 Panama (2009) 2006 Paraguay 1998, 2006 Peru 2000, (2009) 1998, 2006 Uruguay 2003, 2006, (2009) 2006 Venezuela 1998
  14. 14. Most Latin American schools do not face 3. Rewarding success and any consequences for under-performing. tackling failure  In almost all public schools in the region, good teachers are not paid more than bad teachers.  Teachers who fail to improve student performance are neither selected for remedial attention, nor sanctioned or removed from the classroom.  Students are allowed to graduate from high school without having to demonstrate their knowledge of core subjects.  Public and subsidized schools are funded regardless of whether they improve student achievement.  Incentives for good performance are nearly non-existent.
  15. 15. Most Latin American schools do not face 3. Rewarding success and any consequences for under-performing. tackling failure QUALITY CONTRACTS  The City of Bogotá, Colombia, has 25 charter schools. The government gives these privately-run schools the funding to provide free schooling to the poor, as long as they keep performance above average in the national achievement test.  The Province of San Luis, Argentina, opened 9 charter schools that targeted poor areas in 1999-2002, but following a series of protests organized by teachers’ unions, the schools were converted into traditional public schools.
  16. 16. Most Latin American schools do not face 3. Rewarding success and any consequences for under-performing. tackling failure COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION  El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Honduras adopted programs in the 1990s that allowed school councils to make decisions about schools’ budgets, personnel and maintenance. These programs led to lower drop-out and repetition rates, and similar test results as traditional public schools at lower costs.  Mexico adopted the program Apoyo a la Gestión Escolar (AGE) in 1992, which provides funding to parent councils in rural primary schools. AGE led to a decline in drop-out and repetition rates, and to an increase in cooperation between parents and teachers on school assignments.
  17. 17. Most Latin American schools do not face 3. Rewarding success and any consequences for under-performing. tackling failure SCHOOL CHOICE  Chile has the largest voucher program in the region since 1980. It allows all parents, regardless of their socio-economic status, to receive state funds to send their child to a public or private school of their choice if they are unhappy with the current one.  Colombia had a voucher program between 1992-1997, called PACES, for poor high school students. The program increased graduation rates and improved test results. Yet, it became controversial and was discontinued.
  18. 18. Most Latin American schools do not face 3. Rewarding success and any consequences for under-performing. tackling failure TEACHER MANAGEMENT  Chile gives bonuses to schools that get the top scores on the Sistema Nacional de Desempeño de los Establecimientos Subvencionados (SNED). Schools that receive these bonuses then distribute them among their teaching staff.  Mexico’s Carrera Magisterial program moves teachers up the pay scale if the results of their evaluations are positive.  Sao Paulo, Brazil, recently began to reward top-performing schools that have low teacher absenteeism by giving them bonuses, which they can distribute among the teaching staff.
  19. 19. III. What are relatively successful education systems doing?
  20. 20. Top-performing school systems have robust accountability mechanisms in place.  A McKinsey & Co. study (2007) found that top school systems have three things in common: (i) they get the best students to become teachers; (ii) they develop them into effective instructors; and (iii) they provide immediate help to students who are falling behind.  The 2006 PISA report showed that countries receive better results when they have standardized tests and distribute results widely. Countries that allow schools to make decisions regarding their budgets, staff, and maintenance also receive better grades.
  21. 21. In the US, states have their own 1. Setting clear and standards and tests, but there are also ambitious expectations national standards that are voluntary.  Each state sets its own goals and has an assessment system to measure how much progress it has achieved towards them.  Standards differ in how rigorous they are, and some states set higher expectations than others. States can also align their own standards with the national standards.  Although states have much discretion regarding education, the adoption of the No Child Left Behind Act in 2001 has set minimum learning standards for certain demographic groups. If schools meet these requirements, they have access to funds from the federal government; if they fail to do so, states face a series of consequences.
  22. 22. There is an emerging consensus in the US 2. Measuring on the use of value-added models to whether goals are being met measure schools’ performance.  Since the 1990s, several states have experimented with ways of measuring how much “value” teachers contribute to their students’ learning process.  In 2006, the US government set up a fund for states that wanted to use “value-added” models to evaluate the performance of their teachers and reward them accordingly.  Research indicates that value-added models constitute more accurate evaluations of teacher performance when they include other performance measures aside from test scores, when they consider test scores in at least three-year intervals, when no data is missing, and when they consider how teacher assignment is related to students’ abilities.
  23. 23. The number of charter schools in the US 3. Rewarding success and has increased significantly. These schools tackling failure have to meet quality goals. QUALITY CONTRACTS  Since 1998, the number of charter schools in the US has increased significantly—currently, there are 4,300 charter schools in 40 states and the District of Columbia.  Networks of charter schools have also emerged. These include: Green Dot, in Los Angeles, CA; High Tech in San Diego, CA; Achievement First in New Haven, CT; and Knowledge is Power in San Francisco, CA.
  24. 24. 3. Rewarding The US has a strong tradition of parent success and tackling and community involvement in education. failure COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION  Most decisions in education in the US are made at the municipal—or even school—level. While the Department of Education oversees the system’s overall performance and promotes research, local authorities are the ones that make decisions about budget, staffing, and pedagogy.  Parents have a wide range of opportunities to get involved in their children’s education, including parent-teacher associations and school boards within each district.
  25. 25. 3. Rewarding In the United States, vouchers allow success and tackling parents to choose their child’s school. failure SCHOOL CHOICE  About 30 states in the US have voucher programs that give state funds to parents of poor children and/or children with learning disabilities. This allows families to afford to send their children to the public or private school of their choice.  Recent studies found that vouchers are a more efficient way to educate selected students, and that schools improve by having to compete with each other.  However, vouchers remain politicized, and recently have been met with resistance in some states.
  26. 26. Some states in the US are starting to 3. Rewarding success and reward teachers and principals who tackling failure perform well with salary bonuses. TEACHER MANAGEMENT  50 districts are experimenting with value-added models to distribute bonuses and reward good performance.  ProComp, in Denver, CO, and the Teacher Advancement Program (TAP) are among the most popular merit-pay programs. Last year, New York City launched a similar initiative that was financed by private funds.  The most interesting aspect of these programs is that they align the interests of children and those of teachers.
  27. 27. www.preal.org

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