Accountability, Achievement, and Inequality in American Public Schools: A Review of the Literature

  • Joel MittlemanEmail author
  • Jennifer L. Jennings
Part of the Handbooks of Sociology and Social Research book series (HSSR)


In this chapter, we review the existing social science literature on the impacts of accountability systems in American schools. We begin by providing a brief history of accountability systems in American public education. We then review the impacts of these systems in three domains (instructional consequences, student outcome consequences, and policy feedback consequences), focusing on the literature that has been produced since the implementation of No Child Left Behind. We consider the evidence on alternatives and complements to test-based accountability systems that have been proposed, and close by discussing directions for future research.


Accountability Evaluation No Child Left Behind Every Student Succeeds Act School quality indicators Advancing the public good 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Princeton UniversityPrincetonUSA

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