OECD Education Working Papers

This series is designed to make available to a wider readership selected studies drawing on the work of the OECD Directorate for Education. Authorship is usually collective, but principal writers are named. The papers are generally available only in their original language (English or French) with a short summary available in the other.

English, French

Measuring Educational Productivity in Standards-Based Accountability Systems

For many years the school system in the United States has measured success by the number of dollars spent, computers and textbooks purchased, and programs created. Moreover, the measures of success have not focused on academic achievement. Since 1965, American taxpayers have spent more than $321 billion in federal funds on kindergarten through 12th grade public education, yet the average reading scores for 17-year-olds have not improved since the 1970s, according to the U.S. Department of Education.1 In an era where standards, testing and accountability are at the forefront of debate in the education community, parents, educators, administrators, legislators and stakeholders require an objective way of ascertaining the progress of public schools throughout the United States...


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