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International Research Presentation: Rebecca Jacobsen

April 3, 2018 @ 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm EDT

Please join us for the sixth brown bag lunch in the Office of International Studies in Education’s brown bag series dedicated to international research.

This event will feature Associate Professor Rebecca Jacobsen, with the presentation: “Informing New Systems of Accountability: Comparative analysis of school inspection.”

School inspection is a central instrument for monitoring and improving school quality in more than 60 countries around the world. However, the United States takes a different approach and focuses almost exclusively on test-based accountability. Recently, inspection entered the debate over how to design accountability systems in the U.S. due to the recent enactment of Every Student Success Act (ESSA). Specifically, a few cities and states have implemented or are experimenting with some forms of inspection mechanisms–generally referred to as school quality reviews- including New York City, Denver, Vermont, and Ohio. To inform this debate, it is vital to gain insight from international experience. Comparative research on school accountability can inform decisions regarding how inspection programs can be incorporated into existing test-based systems.

Across countries, inspectors’ power varies considerably, often based on the degree to which a country has adopted high stakes policies. In some cases, inspector findings become an instrument to pressure schools to improve whereas, in other counties, inspectors play a more supportive role, assisting principals as they implement new reforms. Despite this variation, in almost all cases, inspectors represent a direct connection between government agencies and schools. This uniquely situated role is the focus of the paper to be presented.