Recent Articles


The emphasis of student test scores in teacher appraisal systems
William C. Smith, Katarzyna Kubacka
Over the past 30 years teachers have been held increasingly accountable for the quality of education in their classroom. During this transition, the line between teacher appraisals, traditionally an instrument for continuous formative teacher feedback, and summative teacher evaluations has blurred. Student test scores, as an ‘objective’ measure, are increasingly used in teacher appraisals in...

Politics of education and teachers’ support for high-stakes teacher accountability policies
Oren Pizmony-Levy, Ashley Woolsey
Although educators are at the center of contentious high-stakes teacher accountability policies, we know very little about their attitudes toward these policies. This research gap is unfortunate because teachers are considered key actors in successful implementation of educational reforms. To what extent do the politics that accompany the introduction of high-stakes teacher accountability...

A failed marriage between standardization and incentivism: Divergent perspectives on the aims of performance-based compensation in Shanghai, China
Priya Goel La Londe
The Chinese province of Shanghai has gained international recognition as a high performing education system with strong teaching and learning outcomes. One accountability mechanism in Shanghai’s education reform strategy is statewide performance-based compensation (PBC), also known as performance- or merit pay. Providing a first time account of PBC in the Shanghai context, this study...

The consolidation of the evaluative state through accountability policies: Trajectory, enactment and tensions in the Chilean education system
Lluís Parcerisa, Alejandra Falabella
Chile is a particularly interesting case to study the introduction of accountability policies. During the 2000s decade, Chile intensified these measures to try to address the failures of a highly deregulated school market system. This article examines the adoption process of accountability policies and the consolidation of the Evaluative State through the construction of the National System of...

Modernizing schools in Mexico: The rise of teacher assessment and school-based management policies
Jaime Echávarri, Cecilia Peraza
In this paper we analyze the evolution of the teacher assessment policy and the origins of school-based management initiatives in the Mexican education context from the late 1980s until the last 2012 – 2013 Education Reform (RE2012–2013). Mexico joined the Global Education Reform Movement during the 1990s through the National Agreement for the Modernization of Basic Education, under which the...

The “power” of value-added thinking: Exploring the implementation of high-stakes teacher accountability policies in Rio de Janeiro
Rolf Straubhaar
The purpose of this article is to ethnographically document the market-based ideological assumptions of Rio de Janeiro’s educational policymakers, and the ways in which those assumptions have informed these policymakers’ decision to implement value-added modeling-based teacher evaluation policies. Drawing on the anthropological literature on meaning making (Anderson-Levitt, 2012), the focus of...

Communities of practice and PISA for Schools: Comparative learning or a mode of educational governance?
Steven Lewis
This paper examines the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) PISA for Schools , a new variant of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) that compares school-level performance on reading, math and science with international schooling systems (e.g., Shanghai-China, Finland). Specifically, I focus here on a professional learning community – the...

Rethinking side effects of accountability in education: Insights from a multiple methods study in four German school systems
Corrie Thiel, Sebastian Schweizer, Johannes Bellmann
Based on a research project comprising data from an interview study and a survey with teachers and school principals in four German federal states ( Bundesländer ), this paper questions the claim that the side effects of accountability in education are bound to high-stakes contexts, and also provides evidence of side effects occurring in no- and low-stakes contexts. The findings suggest that...

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