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How We Define Success: Holding Values in an Era of High Stakes Accountability

Emily Gasoi
Schools: Studies in Education
Vol. 6, No. 2 (Fall 2009), pp. 173-186
Published by: The University of Chicago Press in association with the Francis W. Parker School
DOI: 10.1086/605886
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/605886
Page Count: 14
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How We Define Success
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Abstract

Abstract In the current climate of high stakes testing and tough love rhetoric, many educational stakeholders have become increasingly reliant on standardized test scores to determine whether or not individual students, teachers, and schools—and even entire districts and states—are successful. In contrast to the black and white picture that test‐driven data often paint, however, a diversity of high‐functioning, innovative schools exists around the country whose standards do not mesh with the values inherent in high stakes accountability mandates. The story that follows highlights this clash of values by documenting how the staff in one Boston pilot school has struggled to maintain its own high standards while also responding to often conflicting state and federal accountability mandates.

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