Accountability and School Choice

Authored by: Laura S. Hamilton , Andrew McEachin

Handbook of Research on School Choice

Print publication date:  June  2019
Online publication date:  June  2019

Print ISBN: 9780815381464
eBook ISBN: 9781351210447
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter examines the intersection between accountability and school choice policies. It describes several forms of accountability, all of which could affect the design and implementation of choice systems. From there it focuses on two forms of accountability that are generally most salient in the context of school choice: performance-based accountability and market-based accountability. The chapter examines how these approaches to accountability operate and the ways in which both depend on high-quality information about school characteristics and performance. It then introduces a matrix of the key functional layers of the school choice system (delivery of instruction, financing of schools, and operation of schools). Each layer, which adds interesting nuance to the intersection of school choice policy and accountability, is fleshed out with examples in charter schools, voucher programs, and online education. The chapter closes with suggested areas of future research.

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