Focus on the Three A's: Accountability, Articulation, Achievement



ABSTRACT  Rather than a threat to job security, teacher accountability should be a means to improved instruction and renewed professionalism. Accountability should alleviate problems of articulation between the various levels of a student's foreign language study. Case histories of specific classes indicate that too many students are unprepared for a given level; placed in a ‘sure-fail’ situation, they have little choice but to give up their study or begin again. In any case, they have not profited or grown as a result of their experience. We can decrease the chances of failure and increase the rewards of study, however, by rejecting the practice of measuring achievement in terms of time spent at a given level and by initiating positive evaluation based on minimal performance objectives. The first step must be the establishment and acceptance of such objectives on an institutional basis. Next, regular communication between schools in the area will insure clear understanding of one another's goals. Optimally, we must aim for the establishment of performance objectives on a broader, statewide basis. Instructional effectiveness and articulation demand honest assessment of achievement in terms of clearly defined goals, and for this teachers at every level must be held accountable.