Public accountability through information disclosure is a pillar of modern education reform efforts. Despite the ubiquity of this approach, we argue that public accountability in education is under-theorized and often predictably unlikely to achieve its intended policy goals. Drawing on examples from an equity-oriented court case in California and the literatures on democratic engagement and parent use of school performance data, we propose a framework for thinking about the design of public accountability systems in education. The framework could provide guidance for policymakers considering new efforts at improving schools through the production and dissemination of educational data.
Toward a Framework for Public Accountability in Education Reform