Accountability Measures and School League Tables (ppt)

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Accountability Measures and
School League Tables
Robert Coe
Capita workshop , 15th July 2014
Outline




Evidence on impact of accountability
Typology of accountability systems
Moral leadership
∂
What should we do?
2
Who wants accountability?
 Direct incentives drive people’s behaviour
– Policymakers
– Economists
– Parents
∂
 Negative side-effects outweigh benefits
– Teachers
– Education researchers
– Parents
3
Evidence on impact of
accountability
Robert Coe
4
Research evidence
 Meta-analysis of US studies by Lee (2008)
– Small positive effects on attainment (ES=0.08)
 Impact of publishing league tables (England vs
Wales) (Burgess et al 2013)
∂
– Overall small positive effect (ES=0.09)
– Reduces rich/poor gap
– No impact on school segregation
 Other reviews: mostly agree, but mixed findings
 Lack of evidence about long-term, important
outcomes
5
Evidence from PISA
 DfE Accountability response:
‘OECD evidence shows that a robust accountability
framework is essential to improving pupils’
achievement’ (DfE, 2013)
∂
 What the report actually said:
‘there is no measurable relationship
between…various uses of assessment data for
accountability purposes and the performance of
school systems’ (OECD, 2010, p46)
6
Dysfunctional side effects








Extrinsic replaces intrinsic motivation
Narrowing focus on measures
Gaming (playing silly games)
∂
Cheating (actual cheating)
Helplessness: giving up
Risk avoidance: playing it safe
Pressure: stress undermines performance
Competition: sub-optimal for system
7
Accountability cultures
Distrust
Controlled
Fear
Threat
Competitive
Target-focus
Image presentation
Quick fix
Tick-list quality
Sanctions
Trust
Autonomous
Confidence
Challenge
Supportive
∂
Improvement-focus
Problem-solving
Long-term
Genuine quality
Evaluation
Accountability and improvement
Professional Monitoring
Systems
Official Accountability
Systems
∂
If you find a problem with your
performance, what do you do?
Cover it up
Expose it to view.
(Tymms, 1999)
Overall evidence-based conclusions
 Easy to cherry-pick
‘[E]ducational policy makers and practitioners should be
cautioned against relying exclusively on research that is
consistent with their ideological positions to support or
criticize the current high-stakes testing policy movement’
(Lee, 2008, p. 639)
 Direct incentives do drive people’s behaviour;
∂
current evidence suggests
accountability has
small positive effects on attainment
 Accountability systems always seem to have
some undesirable side-effects
 Balance of positive & negative effects likely to
depend on a range of factors; current knowledge
does not allow us to predict confidently
10
Moral leadership
11
∂
12
Hard questions
1. Imagine there was no accountability. What
would you do differently?
2. Would students be better off as a result?
a) No – I wouldn’t do anything
at all differently
∂
b) Not significantly – minor presentational changes
only
c) Yes – students would be better off without
accountability
3. What actually stops you doing this?
13
Ways forward
14
Making Accountability Work
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
Reclaim professionalism
Experiment to optimise
Improve the measures
∂
Make teacher assessment robust
Uncertainty and unpredictability
No substitute for judgement
(Coe & Sahlgren, 2014)
15
1. Reclaim professionalism
 Take the pledge:
“We do what’s right for children and young
people, not just what Ofsted might want”
 Commit to supporting other schools/teachers
who suffer as a result ∂
– Need evidence of great teaching, from robust
evaluation and monitoring: can’t just support any
school/teacher judged inadequate
– Important that it is not just the ‘failed’ school/teacher
that complains
– Social media campaigns can be very effective:
@OldAndrewUK vs Ofsted
16
2. Experiment to optimise
 Should accountability have
– Explicit (eg PRP, schools ‘academised’) or
implicit (challenge, compare) incentives?
– Performance published or confidential?
– Interpreted judgements
∂ or objective data?
– Improvement through consequences or
feedback?
– Focus on information for consumers (eg parents)
or professionals?
 We don’t know, so need to experiment
17
3. Improve the measures
 Choose measures that are genuinely aligned
with what is valued (& hard to distort)
 Ensure assessments/qualifications are
predictive of later success
 Measure a wide range of outcomes
 Look at distributions, not
∂ just thresholds
 Use delayed outcomes: eg for 11-16
– % NEET @ 18
– % entering elite university courses
 Build in loophole-closing mechanisms (eg re
difficulty/value of ‘equivalents’)
18
4. Make teacher assessment robust
 Training in assessment and moderation
 Link teacher assessed mark distribution to
within-centre exam mark distribution
 Spot checks (risk targeted): can students
∂
reproduce it?
 Support whistle-blowing
 Signed declarations from teachers,
headteachers and students
 Questionnaire audit of practices: ‘too good to be
true’ triggers spot check
19
5. Uncertainty and unpredictability
 State general aims, but be vague/flexible
about specific targets/measures
 Change the targets and monitor who chases
∂
 Make assessments less
predictable (more
capricious?)
20
6. No substitute for judgement
 Combine statistical measures with face-to-face
observation & judgement
 Require inspectors to demonstrate their ability
∂
to make sound judgements
about complex data,
from observation, etc
 Actively look for (and publicise) gaming and
unintended consequences; encourage whistleblowing on counter-productive gaming
Summary …
www.cem.org
1. Evidence on
accountability is not great,
but suggests small
positive impacts
2. Dysfunctional side-effects
are also real
3. We need experiments to
learn how to optimise
@ProfCoe
[email protected]
4. Moral leadership is
required
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