Impact of the Texas State Accountability System on Classroom Practices

This study examined the impact of the Texas state accountability system on classroom practices from the perspectives of teachers in grades three through five in one selected elementary school. Additionally, this study sought to determine the practices used to increase student achievement in the selected school. Using the case study qualitative method, the experiences of nine participants were collected and analyzed. Using within-grade analysis, narratives of the teachers were developed to document their perceptions. Cross-grade analysis was then used to determine emergent themes. The themes that emerged relative to the impact of the state accountability system include commitment to high goals, instructional delivery of curriculum and assessment of skills, pressure and responsibility, and professional development. Relative to the practices used to increase student achievement, the following themes emerged: collaborative teams, continuous learning, data/results oriented, resources used to support teaching and learning, learner-centered instruction, and shared vision and beliefs.


“The recently implemented education legislation in many states, coupled with the federal legislative act entitled ‘No Child Left Behind,’ has resulted in accountability for public schools ... The topic of this study not only has proven to be timely, but highly practical and valuable for educational leaders and classroom teachers. This book will provide school leaders with information and research related to how classroom teachers in one public school implemented and adapted accountability requirements ... It is difficult to overstate the value of this book ... I believe every administrator will view the topic of this book as an invaluable resource that will help connect state and federal accountability mandates with successful school practices.” – (from the Foreword) Professor Robert D. Buchanan, Southeast Missouri State University

“Dr. Bertrand’s study of the perceptions of elementary teachers grades three through five in one Texas elementary school regarding the state accountability system on classroom practices illuminates some of the concerns as well as some of the successful practices used to increase student achievement ... The value of this study is the qualitative look at the way practitioners interpret and implement the legislated mandates for the improvement of their instruction and the benefit of students in their classrooms ... Dr. Bertrand’s efforts bring a fresh look at a topic that concerns teachers and administrators across the nation ...” – Professor Ruth Ann Roberts, Southeast Missouri State University

“This book is a scholarly study and more importantly, also presents a case study that includes valid and reliable data of how a successful learning environment can be created and achieved. The observations made throughout the studywill provide the readers with vast amounts of ideas and insights to create and carry out the same learning environment for the betterment of our children. With the present trend of advocating accountability and ability to measure the outcomes of our educational endeavors on behalf of our children, this book comes at the right time and will serve the purpose of enlightening not only within the educationist community but also with the policy makers, parents, and involved citizens at large ... This book is very engaging and will no doubt be a resource for those who are interested in finding ways to improve how we educate our children.” – Professor A. Zaidy MohdZain, Southeast Missouri State University

Table of Contents

Foreword by Dr. Robert D. Buchanan
1. Issues and Challenges of Public School Accountability
2. Federal and State Accountability Systems and Their Impact on Classroom Practices: A Review of the Literature
3. Setting, Participants, and the Data Collection and Analysis Process: The Design of the Study
4. The Research Site Profile
5. Teacher Perspectives: The Grade Level Narratives
6. The Impact of Accountability: Findings and Analysis
7. Summary and Conclusions
Appendix A: Teacher Interview
Appendix B: Principal/Instructional Coordinator Interview