23 SES 12 B, Accountability Policies’ Enactments : Comparative perspectives - Instrumentation Part 1
Symposium to be continued in 23 SES 14 B
Accountability in education has become a centerpiece of educational reforms for three decades. In a context of a research for greater efficiency, performance-based accountability systems (PBAS) became both an “instrument and a goal” (Bovens, 2006, 2010) to improve performance of public schools and equity in education systems. Nevertheless there is little evidence that PBAS have a positive impact on effectiveness and equity in education systems and most of comparative quantitative studies have focused on high-stakes accountability systems (Carnoy & Loeb, 2002; Hanushek & Raymond, 2005; Harris & Herrington, 2006; Lee, 2008; Mons, 2009; Figlio & Loeb, 2011). Our international comparative quantitative study provides some insights into the relationship between PBAS, effectiveness and equity (equal opportunities of results, equality of outcomes and equality of basic skills) in education systems in Europe and Canada were few quantitative comparative studies were performed so far. Using an operational definition of PBAS that takes into account the result-based regulation tools in place at the school level in order to steer the system, we use OECD PISA 2012 data and work on a sample of 59 education systems. We perform multivariate analysis (principal component analysis, cluster analysis, ANOVA, simple and multiple regressions) in order to characterize PBAS in Europe and Canada on one side, and to analyze their effects on effectiveness and equity on the other. If our study allows us to depict specific instrumental configurations that rest on distinctive regulation tools and underpins distinct form of PBAS, we find little evidence that distinct forms of PBAS have significant impact on effectiveness and equity in education systems. The effects of PBAS, if any, are in most cases weak and are cancelled out when other key factors are taken into account (public spending in education, variation in student socioeconomic backgrounds, horizontal and vertical stratification of education systems). However, it appears that incentives for teachers and PBAS that favor this type of device seem to be significantly linked to lower levels of effectiveness and equity. In the end, our results suggest that PBAS do not provide the effectiveness and equity in education systems they promise
Bovens, M. (2010). Two Concepts of Accountability: Accountability as a Virtue and as a Mechanism. West European Politics, 33(5), 946-967. Carnoy, M. et Loeb, S. (2002). Does external accountability affect student outcomes ? A cross-state analysis. Educational Evaluation & Policy Analysis, 24(4), 305-331. Figlio, D. et Loeb, S. (2011). School Accountability. Dans E. A. Hanushek, S. Machin & L. Woessmann (dir.), Handbooks in Economics (Vol. 3, p. 383-421). The Netherlands: North-Holland. Hanushek, E. A. et Raymond, M. E. (2005). Does School Accountability Lead to Improved Student Performance? Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 24(2), 297-327. doi: 10.2307/3326211 Lee, J. (2008). Is test driven external accountability effective Synthesizing the evidence from cross state Causal comparative and correlational studies. Review of Educational Research, 78(3), 608-644. Mons, N. (2009). Effets théoriques et réels des politiques d’évaluation standardisée. Revue Française de Pédagogie(169), 99-139.
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