The management of accountability expectations in Manitoba schools: a study of eight elementary school principals

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Halliwell, Gayle M.
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In the past, educational accountability was in the form of fiscal and organizational efficiency. Since the early 1980s, however, the focus of accountability initiatives has shifted to student learning. This is a summary of 8 elementary principals’ views about the demands for accountability made of them and their schools, and the ways in which they responded to these expectations. Individual interviews were conducted to gather their perceptions of accountability initiatives underway in Manitoba. Included is a discussion of: (1) the range and intensity of accountability demands perceived by principals, (2) the contradictions experienced by principals as a result of multiple yet differentiated accountability initiatives, as reflected in the distinction in the research literature between market competition, decentralized decision-making, managerial, and professional accountability approaches, and (3) principals’ responses to these demands, and the justification used for the strategies that they adopted.
principals, accountability