Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

Accountability Policies at Schools: A Study of Path Analysis *

Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

Accountability Policies at Schools: A Study of Path Analysis *

Article excerpt

One of the main tasks of educational institutions all over the world is to provide students with an adequate level of academic skills for the least cost. Basically, all educational systems struggle to produce the desired academic performance by effectively and efficiently processing various financial, material, and human resources. On the other hand, social, economic, technological, and cultural changes generally create adverse effects on the education system, particularly on schools, and cause undesired results aside from low academic performance to ensue. Considering the criticism of schools around the world, one observes that they offer the public few benefits and are unable to show the performance expected of them despite the huge amount of investment provided; they are expected to behave more responsibly and to be held accountable for greater performance and efficiency (Kuchapski, 2001; Nagy, 1995).

In line with global developments, the Turkish education system has been criticized frequently both in terms of academic performance and managerial processes. Firstly, Turkish schools are criticized for underperforming both at the national-level exam, as in the high school and university entrance exams respectively, and internationallevel exams, as in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), and the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS). These exams reveal that Turkish students have problems with math, science, reading, and problem-solving skills and are far behind the achievement level that many developed and developing countries have reached (Aydin, Erdag, & Taç, 2011; Aydin, Saner, & Uysal, 2012; Directorate of Research and Development [EARGED], 2003, 2004). Secondly, Turkish public administration, thus being very much a part of the Turkish educational administration, has frequently been criticized for being oversized, over-formalized, unwieldy, not transparent, more bureaucratic, and less responsive than what citizens need (Dinçer, 1998; Eryilmaz, 1997; Göksu, 2002).

Many projects were initiated after 1990 in response to these criticisms, such as the National Education Development Project (NEDP) for improving the quality of education, Total Quality Management (TQM) practices for improving schools, and Curriculum Laboratory Schools that base school development on strategic planning (National Ministry of Education [MEB], 1999, as cited in Kantos, 2010). Furthermore, in order to make education more effective, efficient, and accessible, the Supporting Basic Education Project (SBEP) led to creating primary school standards of quality and determining competencies and performance indicators for the teaching profession. The School Performance Management Model and School Development Planning Model are two models developed to raise the quality of Turkish educational processes and outcomes (MEB, 2002, 2009, as cited in Kantos, 2010). Just after the Turkish economic crisis of 2001, the IMF and World Bank advised governance and accountability policies, and later legislation began to voice the concept of accountability to restore discipline in allocating public budgets and financial performance (Akgeyik, 2004; Dinçer & Yilmaz, 2003; Dogruel, 2002). Later on, the concept of accountability and its practice began to be defended as the main policy for producing and presenting quality educational services, for providing financial control, and for improving students' academic achievement. In this context, Information Act No. 4982, the Public Financial Management and Control Law No. 5018, and the law on the Establishment of the Public Officials Ethics Committee No. 5176 were enacted.

These public and educational management problems have not only been experienced in Turkey but also in western nations. The economic crisis of the 1970s, technological developments, growing knowledge of society and economy, and globalization produced many problems in developed countries both in the fields of public and educational management. …

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