Professional Capacity and Accountability: An Introduction


  • Linda Darling-Hammond Stanford University
  • Jon Snyder Stanford University



professional capacity and accountability, meaningful learning, new paradigm, educational accountability, college readiness, professional readiness


This special issue furthers the conversation begun in the August 2014 of edition of Education Policy Analysis Archives in the article Accountability for College and Career Readiness: Developing a New Paradigm by Linda Darling-Hammond, Gene Wilhoit, and Linda Pittenger. That paper posits that as schools across the country take on the challenge of preparing all children for success in college, career, and life, states must in turn move toward creating more aligned systems of assessment and accountability. The authors recommend, “an accountability approach that focuses on meaningful learning, enabled by professionally skilled and committed educators, and supported by adequate and appropriate resources, so that all students regardless of background are prepared for both college and career when they graduate from high school” (p. 1). In this, the second of three focused volumes of EPAA, we hope to further that discussion and debate by focusing, one issue at a time, on each of the three elements of a truly responsible accountability system: 1) meaningful learning, 2) professional capacity and accountability, and 3) equitable and wisely used resources. 


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Author Biographies

Linda Darling-Hammond, Stanford University

Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond is Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education at Stanford University where she is Faculty Director of the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education. Her latest book is Beyond the Bubble Test: How Performance Assessments Support 21st Century Learning (Wiley, 2014). 

Jon Snyder, Stanford University

Dr. Jon Snyder is the Executive Director of the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education. Prior to joining SCOPE, he had worked as a researcher and a teacher/educator at Teachers College; the National Center for the Restructuring of Education, Schools, and Teaching; the National Commission on Teaching and America's Future; the University of California, Santa Barbara; and as chief academic officer/dean of the College at Bank Street College of Education. He remains engaged in researching teacher learning, conditions that support teacher learning, and the relationships between teacher and student learning. 




How to Cite

Darling-Hammond, L., & Snyder, J. (2015). Professional Capacity and Accountability: An Introduction. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 23, 14.



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