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.