Jan 21, 2012 - Weekly Reflection    3 Comments

Week 1: Blog Reflection: So You Want to be a Teacher?

After reading the first chapter of Foundations of education (Ornstein,Levine, & Gutek, 2011) and watching the video case, I wanted to explore articles and books concerning accountability and high-stakes testing.  I found the latter quote to be informative and wanted to share the article.

“There is a relationship among three tiers of accountability: “the individual’s sense of accountability, or responsibility; parents’, teachers’, administrators’, and students’ collective sense of accountability, or expectations; and the organizational rules, incentives, and implementation mechanisms that constitutes the formal accountability system in schools” (pg 4),” (Carnoy, Elmore & Siskin, 2003; as cited in Feuerstein, 2011).

The above quote from  The Politics of Accountability and Teacher Preparation (Feuerstein, 20111) identifies a hierarchy of accountability in schools and districts. The term politics is a valid concept that highlights how policy makers shape accountability: NCLB and IDEA.  Principals feel a sense of accountability in regard to the achievement of the entire school, while teachers feel a greater sense of responsibility over individual students and whole classrooms.  Initial teachers as well as master teacher and administrators perceive and react to accountability differently. Initial teacher feel pressure to prove that they are  prepared, knowledgeable and effective, while experienced teachers are pressured to maintain results or continuously improve, while acting as a role model for first year teachers.  The term accountability holds individuals responsible for producing tangible results, but is reduced to being centered around high stakes testing.  Schools and districts are limited to standardized testing and need to incorporate both formative and summative assessments to measure accountability (Garrison & Ehringhaus, 2007).


Feuerstein, A. (2011). The Politics of Accountability and Teacher Preparation. Action In Teacher Education, 33(1), 3-23.

Garrison, C., & Ehringhaus, M. (2007). Formative and summative assessments in the classroom.Retrieved from       http://www.amle.org/Publications/WebExclusive/Assessment/tabid/1120/Default.aspx

Ornstein, A.C., Levine, D.U. & Gutek, G.L. (2011). Foundations of education. (11th ed.). Belmont: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.



  • Shelley – I think you chose a really great excerpt from chapter 1. High -stakes testing is definitely a concern that we will be having to deal with one day soon. You make some really great points about the pressure it puts on all levels of teachers from inexperienced to the master teachers. I agree that this kind of accountability is necessary but it is also hurting the students education in different ways.

  • I think it was very clever how you stated the Virginia teaching requirements before going into the characteristics of a great teacher. Those are basic requirements of the state that must be met, but I agree that there is much more to a great teacher than test scores. For your answer to #2, although tests do “limit teacher instruction and debilitates teacher and student motivation,” tests are a necessary part of education. Personally, I think one important characteristic of a great teacher is being able to overcome the pressure it puts on oneself and to somehow lessen the pressure the students feel as well. I’m not sure how one does this as of now, but hopefully we’ll learn soon enough! 🙂