Autonomy Must Precede Accountability

radical eyes for equity

Nearly 2.5 years ago, I wrote directly about the essential flaw with the thirty-plus-years accountability movement in K-12 U.S. public education. That essential flaw is that accountability built on standards and high-stakes testing is a corruption of the concept of accountability—which may be better understood as «responsibility.»

The corrupted «accountability» imposed on students, teachers, and schools in this model fails to establish first some key conditions in which accountability proper can be valid, ethical, and effective:

  • Identify clearly and openly the conditions that are in need of reform as well as the causational roots of those conditions.
  • Insure and then honor the autonomy of those being held accountable.
  • Insure accountability does not include conditions over which those being held accountable have no real control.

As a teacher, and if I am allowed my professional autonomy, I cannot control the outcomes of my students since those outcomes are impacted significantly by…

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