The role of parents in the school accountability system: Insights from a Hong Kong case

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Abstract

Parents, as a group, are important stakeholders that can influence education policy, as evidenced by the 2015−16 public opposition to a test-based school accountability measure in Hong Kong, which forced the government to remove the high stakes attached to test results. Parents and their role in education accountability systems, however, remain under-researched. This study analysed interviews with 42 parents to examine how they interpreted the Hong Kong Territory-wide System Assessment (TSA) and its functions. One particular area of theoretical interest was understanding what triggered parents to protest against a policy that seemingly protects their interests, and determining whether the alliance between market and bureaucracy, or between neoliberalism and neo-conservatism, has been weakened in some way. The research, however, found the power alliance remained strong. Three distinctive patterns of parental attitudes were identified, indicating a rather loose coalition among parents, the majority of whom endorsed the policy’s intentions and only a small portion was critical of its consequences and ethics. Findings are discussed in terms of parents’ role in the theoretical accountability triangle and the importance of educators’ professional accountability for transforming the policy rhetoric of assessment for learning into classroom reality. Implications are discussed for Hong Kong and beyond. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101114
JournalStudies in Educational Evaluation
Volume72
Early online date02 Dec 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022

Citation

Xie, Q. (2022). The role of parents in the school accountability system: Insights from a Hong Kong case. Studies in Educational Evaluation, 72. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1016/j.stueduc.2021.101114

Keywords

  • Test-based school accountability
  • Parents
  • Assessment for learning
  • Professional accountability
  • Basic education

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