Although educators and school boards sometimes resist the idea, accountability is sorely needed in America's schools. Our students are falling behind those in other countries, yet compared to their foreign counterparts, our schools remain subject to little accountability. The U.S. school system lacks the marketplace accountability of schools competing with one another and the further accountability of large-scale examination systems, both of which are associated with high achievement. It is clear that after a quarter century of poor progress in educational productivity, the time has come for high academic standards and accountability.
Williamson M. Evers is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution and a member of the Institution's Koret Task Force on K-12 Education. He specializes in research on education policy - especially as it pertains to curriculum, teaching, testing, and accountability from kindergarten through high school. From July to December 2003, he served as senior adviser for education to Administrator L. Paul Bremer of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq. Herbert J. Walberg is a distinguished visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution and a member of its Task Force on K-12 Education, is University Scholar and emeritus professor of education and psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His research focuses on educational productivity and human accomplishments.