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American egos were stunned when the Soviet Union successfully launched Sputnik in 1957 How could the US have fallen second in the race for space Americans looked for answers and found one in the failure of the schools in educating children to their full potential This started the education pendulum to swing The initial swing carried it to the revision of science and math programs It pushed schools into greater sciencemath requirements The arts and social studies were pushed into the background The pendulum began to swing back in the late sixties and seventies with the peace movement influence Social issues and the arts made a comeback at the expense of math and science In the past twenty years the pendulum has wavered back and forth The turmoil of the seventies was replaced with the reform movements of the eighties Educational reform has continued to maintain a steady pressure on school systems across the country Accountability has become the buzzword of education in the nineties Accountability has been a sign of the times Parents demand schools that produce a quality product that is children who can compete in an increasingly competitive world of skilled labor Local politicians point to the schools as a drain on taxpayers dollars National politicians use the education issue as a plank in election platforms News media fill space with news of declining test scores increased dropout rates and low quality teachers Accountability has become the pennant of political campaigns Accountability is holding one responsible Parents and politicians look to the schools to be responsible for student learning and the schools are holding the students accountable for their learning Traditionally a students accountability involved being evaluated by his teacher Evaluation means finding the value in Today the term in education refers to making a decision regarding a students learning progress whether its a report card grade or a diploma Evaluations are
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