Leaving Children Behind

How "Texas-style" Accountability Fails Latino Youth

Edited by Angela Valenzuela

Subjects: Social Context Of Education, Multicultural Education
Series: SUNY series, The Social Context of Education
Paperback : 9780791462409, 322 pages, November 2004
Hardcover : 9780791462393, 322 pages, November 2004

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Table of contents

1. Introduction: The Accountability Debate in Texas: Continuing the Conversation
Angela Valenzuela

2. Performance-Based School Reforms and the Federal Role in Helping Schools That Serve Language-Minority Students
Jorge Ruiz de Velasco

3. Faking Equity: High-Stakes Testing and the Education of Latino Youth
Linda McSpadden McNeil

4. Texas' Second Wave of High-Stakes Testing: Anti-Social Promotion Legislation, Grade Retention, and Adverse Impact on Minorities
Richard R. Valencia and Bruno J. Villarreal

5. Playing to the Logic of the Texas Accountability System: How Focusing on "Ratings"—Not Children—Undermines Quality and Equity
Kris Sloan

6. Standardized or Sterilized? Differing Perspectives on the Effects of High-Stakes Testing in West Texas
Elaine Hampton

7. California's English-Only Policies: An Analysis of Initial Effects
Laura Alamillo, Deborah Palmer, Celia Viramontes, and Eugene E. García

8. The Centurion: Standards and High-Stakes Testing as Gatekeepers for Bilingual Teacher Candidates in the New Century
Belinda Bustos Flores and Ellen Riojas Clark

9. High-Stakes Testing and Educational Accountability as Social Constructions Across Cultures
Raymond V. Padilla

10. Accountability and the Privatization Agenda
Angela Valenzuela

About the Contributors


Argues for a more valid and democratic approach to assessment and accountability.


The federal government has based much of its education policies on those adopted in Texas. This book examines how "Texas-style" accountability—the notion that decisions governing retention, promotion, and graduation should be based on a single test score—fails Latina/o youth and their communities. The contributors, many of them from Texas, scrutinize state policies concerning high-stakes testing and provide new data that demonstrate how Texas' current system of testing results in a plethora of new inequalities. They argue that Texas policies exacerbate historic inequities, fail to accommodate the needs and abilities of English language learners, and that the dramatic educational improvement attributed to Texas' system of accountability is itself questionable. The book proposes a more valid and democratic approach to assessment and accountability that would combine standardized examinations with multiple sources of information about a student's academic performance.

Angela Valenzuela is Professor of Curriculum and Instruction and Mexican American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.