Now Is a Good Time to Review NCEA's Statement on Accountability and Assessment in Catholic Education

Article excerpt

In 2004, the board of directors of the National Catholic Educational Association approved a statement on accountability and assessment. This statement was developed initially by the association's staff and elected leadership groups in response to a request from the board's special committee on Catholic urban education.

After the board had published a strong statement in support of school choice the prior year, the committee observed that some who opposed the inclusion of Catholic schools in voucher initiatives have claimed that Catholic schools should be excluded because they are not accountable. Rejecting this misrepresentation, the association's statement on accountability and assessment makes it clear that Catholic educators in schools and parishes accept accountability to those they serve, to their sponsors and supporters and to the church and the civic community.

For Catholic educators, academic standards and assessments are seen as useful measures, within the context of a larger framework of accountability that includes attention to spiritual growth, participation in parish and community life and a commitment to service, in addition to academic achievement.

Statement by the National Catholic Educational Association on Accountability and Assessment in Catholic Education

Rationale

Catechesis and education are vital to the church and to the nation. As catechetical and educational ministers, our responsibility is to present both the Gospel message and an excellent educational program. Accountability and holistic assessment are, therefore, essential to that responsibility.

Accountability

We hold a sacred trust to educate and form the whole person- mind, body and spirit. Accountability invites members of the community to share in the process of assessing the success of catechetical and educational programs, verifying "we are who we say we are." Accountability is essential to that sacred trust. We are accountable to:

* the Catholic community;

* civil society;

* boards/councils;

* funders;

* all whom we serve, especially students, parents and guardians;

* our professional colleagues; and, ultimately, to one another.

Assessment

Assessment is a means of measuring performance. It illustrates how well we are accomplishing our stated mission, goals and objectives to educate and form the whole person. …

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