Publications & Resources

Systemic Strategies to Improve Low-Performing Schools—Lessons from First-Generation Accountability Systems

Dec 2003

Heinrich Mintrop and Rosie Papazian

Failing public schools are a national problem. Highly publicized reports and manifestoes have repeatedly put the spotlight on performance deficits in American schools. In the last 20 years or so, increasing numbers of states and local districts have responded to this problem by creating standards-based accountability systems that are “high stakes,” in the hope that such systems provide incentives for educators to improve their performance. With the passage of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act in 2001, accountability measures have become a cornerstone of the federal government’s approach to schools serving children in poverty, potentially making high-stakes accountability a compelling and pervasive feature in schools all over the United States.

Mintrop, H., & Papazian, R. (2003). Systemic strategies to improve lowperforming schools—Lessons from first-generation accountability systems (CSE Report 617). Los Angeles: University of California, Los Angeles, National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST).