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Investigating the relationship between school-level accountability practices and science achievement

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Published: 2015-11-15

Authors

Fernanda Gandara

University of Massachusetts Amherst

Jennifer Randall

University of Massachusetts Amherst

Keywords: accountability; science achievement; international testing; PISA

Abstract

This study investigates the relationship between school-level accountability practices and science achievement of 15-year-olds, across four counties: Australia, Korea, Portugal, and the United States. We used PISA 2006 data, since 2006 is the only administration that has focused on science. School-level accountability practices are here defined as activities that: (a) provide school achievement data to external stakeholders, or (b) establish consequences according to the achievement results. Using linear regression analysis, we found that school-level accountability practices varied across these four countries, albeit not all pairs of countries were significantly different from each other in this regard. Using hierarchical linear modelling, we found that school-level accountability practices had a small effect on science achievement. Importantly, this effect was not independent of schools’ and students’ socio-economic status.

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Author Biographies

Fernanda Gandara

University of Massachusetts Amherst

Fernanda Gándara is a doctoral candidate in psychometrics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her research is oriented towards the improvement of assessment practices across educational contexts. She is mostly interested in the intersection between assessment and policy, as well as the assessment practices that affect linguistic minorities and students in need. Fernanda has worked in Chile and the U.S., and has been involved in international education projects. Until recently, she conducted research for the Center of Educational Assessment at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is currently a Research Associate at School-to-School International. 

Jennifer Randall

University of Massachusetts Amherst

Jennifer Randall is an associate professor of education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her research interests include the assessment and grading practices/philosophies of classroom teachers, the utility and appropriateness of test accommodations for special populations, as well as scale development for difficult to measure constructs.

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Published: 2015-11-15

How to Cite

Gandara, F., & Randall, J. (2015). Investigating the relationship between school-level accountability practices and science achievement. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 23, 112. https://doi.org/10.14507/epaa.v23.2013