Media accounts of school performance: Reinforcing dominant practices of accountability

Baroutsis, Aspa (2016) Media accounts of school performance: Reinforcing dominant practices of accountability. Journal of Education Policy, 31(5), pp. 567-582.

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Abstract

Media reportage often act as interpretations of accountability policies thereby making the news media a part of the policy enactment process. Within such a process, their role is that of policy reinforcement rather than policy construction or contestation. This paper draws on the experiences of school leaders in regional Queensland, Australia, and their perceptions of the media frames that are used to report on accountability using school performance. The notion of accountability is theorised in terms of media understandings of ‘holding power to account’, and forms the theoretical framework for this study. The methodological considerations both contextualise aspects of the schools involved in the study, and outline how ‘framing theory’ was used to analyse the data. The paper draws on a number of participant experiences and newspaper accounts of schools to identify the frames that are used by the press when reporting on school performance. Three frames referring to school performance are discussed in this paper: those that rank performance such as league tables; frames that decontextualise performance isolating it from school circumstances and levels of funding; and frames that residualise government schools.

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2 citations in Scopus
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ID Code: 93175
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: accountability, performativity, newspaper representation of schools, NAPLAN, school performance
DOI: 10.1080/02680939.2016.1145253
ISSN: 1464-5106
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Funding:
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2016 Taylor & Francis
Deposited On: 25 Feb 2016 06:58
Last Modified: 05 Aug 2016 09:48

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