Data-driven accountability in Australia : an unfolding story with lessons for leaders

Smeed, Judy L., Ehrich, Lisa C., Kimber, Megan, & Perry, Lee-Anne (2011) Data-driven accountability in Australia : an unfolding story with lessons for leaders. The Australian Educational Leader, 33(2), pp. 17-20.


Throughout the world, state and nation standardised testing of children, has become a "huge industry" (English, 2002). Although English is referring to the American system which has been involved in standardised testing for over half a century, the same could be said of many other countries, including Australia. It has been only in recent years that Australia has embraced national testing as part of a wider reform effort to bring about increased accountability in schooling. The results of high-stakes tests in Australia are now published in newspapers and electronically on the Australian federal government's MySchool website ( MySchool provides results on the National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) for students in Years 3,5, 7 and 9. Data are available that compare schools to statistically similar schools. This more recent publication of national testing results in Australia is a visible example of "contractual accountability", described by Mulford, Edmunds, Kendall, Kendall and Bishop (2008) as " the degree to which [actors] are fulfilling the expectations of particular audiences in terms of standards, outcomes and results" (p.20).

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ID Code: 43487
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: No
Additional URLs:
Keywords: accountability, leadership, data driven
ISSN: 1832-8245
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300) > Educational Administration Management and Leadership (130304)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Cultural & Professional Learning
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 Australian Council for Educational Leaders
Deposited On: 26 Jul 2011 00:19
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2013 02:23

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