By Karen Seashore Louis

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Indeed, these scholars suggested that while accountability legitimated complex technocratic responses throughout the educational system, that these responses might not have elicited the increase in educational output originally envisioned by school reformers. Instead, such technocratic responses may have escalated historical inequities by legitimating problematic practice. , 2008; Vasquez Heilig and Darling-Hammond, 2008). Studies have also revealed evidence of specific gaming actions in Texas schools.

Since 2005, the 11 high schools in the sample performed somewhat worse on the federal accountability measure. The sample high schools did not meet their AYP goals 35 times, about 64 percent of the time (see Table II). ” In fact, during the past two years, six of the 11 schools received a “recognized” Texas accountability rating. , 1986). These key informants were then used to snowball sample other individuals who could provide a variety of perspectives on the affect of accountability and highstakes testing on their schools (Goodman, 1961).

Her friend was classified as a senior, but she could not graduate because she never tested or passed the exit exams, which are required for graduation in Texas (a quantitative analysis of the large-scale exclusion of low-performing students in Brazos City School District testing is also detailed in Vasquez Heilig and Darling-Hammond, 2008). At-risk students as liabilities School administrators revealed why many Texas high schools have sought to marginalize low-performing and at-risk students. It seems that the risk associated with job loss and public embarrassment for leaders whose schools do not perform as expected under the Texas’s present accountability system – currently underpinned by the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test – has resulted in the identification of at risk students as liabilities.

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