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Organizational Improvement and Accountability

Organizational Improvement and Accountability: Lessons for Education from Other Sectors

Brian Stecher
Sheila Nataraj Kirby
Copyright Date: 2004
Edition: 1
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 154
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  • Book Info
    Organizational Improvement and Accountability
    Book Description:

    Examines five accountability models--two from the manufacturing sector; a performance incentive model used in the evaluation of job training programs for the poor; accountability in the legal sector; and accountability in health care as shown by clinical practice guidelines, use of statistical risk-adjustment methods, and the public reporting of health performance measures. The authors summarize the models' effectiveness and draw lessons for implementing the No Child Left Behind Act.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-3595-0
    Subjects: Education, Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-x)
  4. Figure and Tables
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. Summary
    (pp. xiii-xviii)
  6. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xix-xx)
  7. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-10)
    Sheila Nataraj Kirby and Brian Stecher

    Accountability in education refers to the practice of holding educational systems responsible for the quality of their products—students’ knowledge, skills, and behaviors. It is neither a new idea nor a new practice. In fact, Kirst (1990), in his historical overview of educational accountability, points out that as far back as mid–19th century England, schools were paid according to the performance of their students on standardized examinations—“payment by results.” In 20th century America, public schools were held accountable through a variety of regulatory mechanisms—school buildings had to meet strict safety codes, teachers had to obtain formal certification,...

  8. CHAPTER TWO Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Program
    (pp. 11-34)
    Sheila Nataraj Kirby

    The goal of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Act of 1987 (Public Law 100–107) is to establish criteria for performance excellence and to provide organizations a framework for designing, implementing, and assessing a process for managing all business operations to be able to meet those criteria. Given that many schools and districts are struggling to improve themselves and the performance of their students, it seemed a useful exercise to examine the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA) to see what lessons it might hold for education. This chapter describes the MBNQA Program, its criteria for performance excellence, and the...

  9. CHAPTER THREE Toyota Production System/Lean Manufacturing
    (pp. 35-50)
    Heather Barney and Sheila Nataraj Kirby

    The Toyota Production System (TPS) is the unique manufacturing system pioneered by Eiji Toyoda and Taiichi Ohno at the Toyota Motor Company in Japan after World War II. Although it was created as an automotive production system, it is now widely recognized for its revolutionary approach to doing business, which provides more choice to consumers, more decisionmaking involvement for workers, and greater, more efficient productivity to companies. TPS is synonymous with “lean production” or “lean manufacturing,” a term coined by researchers in the International Motor Vehicle Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) (Womack, Jones, and Roos, 1990). The...

  10. CHAPTER FOUR The Job Training Partnership Act and the Workforce Investment Act
    (pp. 51-64)
    Sheila Nataraj Kirby

    The Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) was passed by the U.S. Congress in 1982 to provide job training and services to those facing serious barriers to employment. The JTPA program was unique at the time because it linked explicit performance standards with performance incentives. In 1998, it was succeeded by the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), which was intended to provide greater accountability through its use of new performance measures. The JTPA and WIA provide a useful illustration of what happens when institutional performance is rewarded according to specific, explicit outcome measures. Thus, the JTPA and WIA lessons are relevant to...

  11. CHAPTER FIVE Accountability in the Legal Profession
    (pp. 65-84)
    Heather Barney

    Many authors have advocated professional accountability in education as offering the most promise for the advancement of teaching and improvement of student learning (Darling-Hammond and Ascher, 1991; O’Reilly, 1996; Adams and Kirst, 1998; O’Day, 2002).Professional accountabilityis any system by which members of a given profession provide regulation and oversight to the practice of their trade. In this chapter, we examine how professional accountability is structured in mature professions, using the legal profession as an example, and discuss the implications for education. We begin by reviewing briefly the nature of professions in general before turning to a description of...

  12. CHAPTER SIX Clinical Practice Guidelines in the Health Sector
    (pp. 85-94)
    Marjorie Pearson and Brian Stecher

    In the health care industry, clinical practice guidelines serve as outlines of best practices for treating specific medical conditions. Independent organizations create these guidelines to support clinicians in their decisions on patient care. The guidelines are not mandatory, but clinicians who use them do so with the understanding that guideline practices are based on scientific evidence and expert judgment. The purpose of clinical practice guidelines is to improve the quality and efficiency of care. In this chapter, we explain how practice guidelines are developed and how they are used in the health care industry. We then explore how similar types...

  13. CHAPTER SEVEN Risk Adjustment Methods in Health Care Accountability
    (pp. 95-106)
    Marjorie Pearson and Brian Stecher

    Risk adjustment is used to hold providers accountable only for their own care-giving actions and not for patient characteristics beyond their control. In health services, risk adjustment means taking account of factors patients bring with them—factors that are independent of the medical treatment—that affect theirriskof experiencing a good or bad outcome following treatment. Risk-adjustment methods attempt to isolate the effect of the care provided from that of other factors, such as the patient’s age, the diagnosis, the severity of the condition, or other conditions occurring along with the condition being treated. In this chapter, we describe...

  14. CHAPTER EIGHT Health Care Report Cards and the Public Release of Data
    (pp. 107-116)
    Marc Chow and Brian Stecher

    While there is no formal, industry-wide accountability system for health care, there are many mechanisms that promote accountability and process improvement. Health care report cards and the public release of data serve to inform consumers about the relative performance of the clinicians and hospitals from whom they may receive services. The public availability of performance data and the existence of market forces work together as informal improvement and accountability mechanisms in the health care industry. In this chapter, we discuss the history of health care report cards, how they have affected the industry, and how a similar mechanism might work...

  15. CHAPTER NINE Conclusions
    (pp. 117-124)
    Brian Stecher and Sheila Nataraj Kirby

    We undertook this exploration in the hope that we would gain useful insights into educational accountability by looking at accountability in other sectors. Many of the advocates on the national scene calling for greater accountability in education base their arguments on practices observed in the business sector. Our own knowledge of health care led us to believe that useful comparisons might also be found in this area. Conversations with colleagues suggested that educators could learn from accountability in the legal profession, in job training, and in other settings. Even so, we were surprised at the wealth and relevance of information...

  16. References
    (pp. 125-134)