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Rethinking Side Effects of Accountability in Education: Insights from a Multiple Methods Study in Four German School Systems


"Based on a research project comprising data from an interview study and a survey with teachers and school principals in four German federal states (Bundeslander), this paper questions the claim that the side effects of accountability in education are bound to high-stakes contexts, and also provides evidence of side effects occurring in no- and low-stakes contexts. The findings suggest that side effects cannot be fully explained by certain implementation features of accountability regimes (e.g. high stakes), but should rather be understood as a result of implementation features as well as systematic effects of accountability in education."