Leaving Children Behind: How "Texas-style" Accountability Fails Latino Youth

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Angela Valenzuela
SUNY Press, 2005 - Education - 313 pages
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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.

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Introduction The Accountability Debate in Texas Continuing the Conversation
PerformanceBased School Reforms and the Federal Role in Helping Schools That Serve LanguageMinority Students
Faking Equity HighStakes Testing and the Education of Latino Youth
Texas Second Wave of HighStakes Testing AntiSocial Promotion Legislation Grade Retention and Adverse Impact on Minorities
Playing to the Logic of the Texas Accountability System How Focusing on Ratings Not Children Undermines Quality and Equity
Standardized or Sterilized? Differing Perspectives on the Effects of HighStakes Testing in West Texas
Californias EnglishOnly Policies An Analysis of Initial Effects
The Centurion Standards and HighStakes Testing as Gatekeepers for Bilingual Teacher Candidates in the New Century
HighStakes Testing and Educational Accountability as Social Constructions Across Cultures
Accountability and the Privatization Agenda
About the Contributors

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About the author (2005)

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

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