A case study: views of Bermudian stakeholders in education on the accountability of an outcomes-based accountability system
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In answering the accountability mandate and competition from the private school/charter school system, public education authorities have introduced various means to measure the performance of the public school system so as to improve it. In this case study of the Bermuda public school system, using selfadministered questionnaires, respondents provided personal demographic information and their ratings of comments or determinants/criteria used in outcomes-based accountability systems. Analysis of the data showed that educators and the general public had much general similarity in ratings of the major attributes that were important for accountability considerations but were still distinctive. Using factor analysis of the data and then ANOVA with demographic scores as Independent Variables and the Factor Scores as the Dependent Variables suggests some significant relationships can be found and these differ for the Educators and the Public. Considering the stakeholders’ view, educational accountability requires Total Quality Management (TQM) to be a management style of commitment of the total resources of the organization to meeting the customers’ satisfaction and even exceeding their expectations. Despite much public experience with it, TQM’s impact on education has been limited. The pervasiveness of the accountability mandate in higher education and concerns about the comparative quality of public and private K-12 education underscore the need to go beyond a survey of the public’s attitudes about the public school performance as determined by the PDK/Gallup poll. Using this case study the researcher produced and tested a survey tool to gather data for testing differences in opinions and clarifying which criteria/indicators were influential in these opinions. The study increases the education literature on Bermuda. Since Bermuda’s accountability environment has some parallels with that of the USA as exemplified by Texas, the research project adds information about how we might review and reflect on such outcomes-based accountability systems as are set up in Bermuda and in Texas. This is significant for the public’s involvement in centralized and de-centralized education. This methodology may be valuable in such related research.