Saving Schools: History, Politics, and Policy in U.S. Education, Mini-Course III: Accountability and National Standards

Mini-Course III: Accountability and National Standards

About The Course

This is the third in a sequence of four mini-courses, releasing on January 5th, 2015. This mini-course focuses on the question of accountability in public schools.

Who is accountable for student outcomes? Should we blame the schools or hold the students themselves accountable? Who determines the standards for accountability – the federal government or the individual states?

The demand for accountability in U.S. education resulted in No Child Left Behind and has shaped the Common Core debate. Throughout this mini-course, we will trace the origins of the accountability movement, the increased role of the federal government, the design of accountability interventions, and the impact of accountability programs on student performance.

This mini-course contains five lectures, with most lectures divided into three videos. The mini-courses also include assigned readings, discussion forums, and assessments.

This is the third mini-course in a four-course sequence. Mini-Course I: History and Politics of U.S. Education can be found here. Mini-Course II: Teacher Policies can be found here. Mini-Course IV: School Choice can be found here.


Audit this course for free and have complete access to all the course material, activities, tests, and forums. If your work is satisfactory and you abide by the Honor Code, you'll receive a personalized Honor Code Certificate to showcase your achievement.

WAYS TO TAKE THIS COURSE FOR A FEE: Earn a Verified Certificate of Achievement

Looking to test your mettle? Do you plan to use your completed coursework for job applications, promotions or school applications? Then you may prefer to work towards an edX personalized Certificate of Achievement to document your accomplishment. It is a great way to document your accomplishment. You may switch into this option at any time before the mini-course finishes on February 2. In order to achieve a certificate, however, you must complete the mini-course requirements by February 2.

Earn Harvard Credit

Optionally, you can enroll in the traditional, semester-long course at Harvard Extension School. Courses are offered in fall or spring semesters, or both. You have the option to enroll for undergraduate or graduate credit and will receive grades on a Harvard transcript. Learn more about the course on the Harvard Extension School website.

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