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Testing and Accountability

Author/s: 
Eric A. Hanushek
Published Date: 
forthcoming
Publication: 
ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science

Recent research highlights the importance of academic achievement as a determinant of economic well-being. Individual earnings, income growth in states, and national growth rates for GDP are each significantly determined by the population’s cognitive skills, which in turn are proxied by scores on standardized achievement tests. This well-documented relationship between education and economic outcomes underscores the importance of using test information to guide both school policy and school operations. While test-based accountability has been controversial, scientific evidence about the economic value of school improvement and about the efficacy of various accountability approaches point to holding schools and teachers accountable for their contributions to the academic performance of students.