1st Edition

Educational Accountability and American Federalism Moving Beyond a Test-Based Approach

By John Portz Copyright 2023
    206 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    206 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book offers important insights into the complex nature of educational accountability and its role in supporting school improvement. By developing two key concepts – educational accountability and American federalism – the book highlights various types of accountability that take place in different institutional settings.

    By moving beyond the long-standing, test-based, administrative approach to accountability, the author demonstrates how professional, market, and political accountability affect teaching, learning, and educational policymaking. The book examines four accountability types: administrative accountability, professional accountability, market accountability, and political accountability. The volume questions why these accountability types vary in their development and use across the country, and considers how American federalism – national, state, and local – provides different political arenas with variation in ideas, interests, and institutions that prompt different policymaking approaches. The book concludes with a two-tier proposal for internal accountability organized around teacher professionalism and external accountability combining elements of school choice and public deliberation.

    This volume will be important reading for scholars and researchers in Federalism, Education Policy, and Public Administration. It will also be beneficial reading for policymakers, think tanks, and community organizations.

    Preface;  Introduction;  1 – Accountability and Federalism: Laying the Groundwork;  2 - The National Level: An Enduring Focus on Administrative Accountability;  3 - States in the Middle;  4 - Cities and School Districts: Where the Rubber Meets the Road;  5 - Accountability Effects: Behavioral and Political Perspectives;  6 – Conclusion


    John Portz is Professor of Political Science at Northeastern University, USA.

    So much of what has been written about accountability in education has been dominated by the potent abut singular experience under No Child Left Behind. In Educational Accountability and American Federalism, John Portz takes a step back from that tumult and helps us think about important matters in a broader and more nuanced way.                                                     

    Jeffrey R. Henig, Professor of Political Science & Education, Teachers College, and author of The End of Exceptionalism in American Education.

    In this insightful book on education policymaking, Portz demystifies accountability and helps us to appreciate its multiple meanings and where they lead us. A fresh, original contribution to the education policy literature.

    William T. Gormley, Jr., Professor of Public Policy & Government, Georgetown University