The polymeric model of school evaluation in the era of accountability

Publication Date14 October 2019
AuthorSara Zamir
SubjectEducation,Educational evaluation/assessment
The polymeric model of
school evaluation in the
era of accountability
Sara Zamir
Department of Education, Achva Academic College, Shikmim, Israel and
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Eilat Campus, Eilat, Israel
Purpose As the school evaluators role is multifaceted and the school elevator is the school principals
subordinate, this paper aims to present the school evaluators complex conduct to achieve a better
understandingof his or her functioning.
Design/methodology/approach Theoreticalpaper.
Findings The two critical dimensions connected to the purpose of this paper are introduced here: the
school evaluatorscredibility and the school principals leadershipstyle. Hence, the polymeric model displays
four frames as follow: false evaluation, confusing evaluation, unreliable evaluation and trustworthy
Research limitations/implications Although this is a theoreticalpaper, it can be transformed into a
researchpaper by conducting a follow-up study.
Practical implications The increased responsibility that has been placed on schoolsand the demand
for accountability as well as transparency have obligated schools to broaden and deepen the internal
evaluation activitiesand those have led to the position of the school evaluator. This paper sheds lighton the
problem andsuggests some relevant insights.
Social implications Evaluative culture in an organizationrequires deliberate efforts by the leadership
to encourage thecredible evaluators, to support their skillful and reliablework, and nally, to implement their
conclusions even though managementmay nd them tedious and time-consuming. School managementthat
is driven by dishonest motivations(such as gaining power and control) may not only deprive the schoolof
effectiveevaluation but may also harm the infrastructure of the institution and lead to its decline.
Originality/value This paper suggestsan original model for school evaluation.
Keywords Evaluation, Educational administration, Leadership, Education, Management styles,
Polymeric model, School evaluator, School principal, Evaluation culture at school, Accountability
Paper type Viewpoint
During the 1990s of the past century, a noticeable transition took place in the governance
philosophy of sequential national governments, combining decentralization of the
authority with an emphasis on the quality of education. According to Hofman et al.
(2009), during this time, several western European countries as well as states of northern
America were working on legislation and monitoring in the eld of school self-evaluation.
This trend actually stressed the schoolsown responsibility for quality New models of
school regulations based upon accountability measures and evaluation practices were
given considerable attention, including standards for schools as prescribed by the
National Inspectorates of Education, external student assessment, internal and external
evaluations of schools and the developmentofexamplesofbestpractice(Hofman et al.,
Received30 June 2018
Revised23 August 2018
16December 2018
14April 2019
Accepted7 July 2019
QualityAssurance in Education
Vol.27 No. 4, 2019
pp. 401-411
© Emerald Publishing Limited
DOI 10.1108/QAE-06-2018-0070
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