Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Educational Foundations & Leadership
Jay Paredes Scribner
Karen L. Sanzo
Jonna L. Bobzien
The education landscape has been inundated in recent decades with a plethora of accountability measures. New mandates and processes are conceived at the hands of policymakers, and concepts such as power and values are at the core of accountability changes. The purpose of this research study was to uncover the web of unwritten structures and systems in place that influence the educational accountability policy process using complexity theory as the guiding theoretical framework (Shoup & Studer, 2010). Complexity theory dispels the notion of simplistic cause and effect relationships as predictors for accountability trends, and, instead, posits the multiplicity of factors that lead to decisions and outcomes. Particular attention was paid to the role values played in stakeholders’ motivations and their uses of power (Fowler, 2013; Lukes, 2005; Shoup and Studer, 2010).
This qualitative case study design examined the values that motivated policy decisions around landmark accountability mandates in Virginia over a twenty-year span and uncovered how and in what ways educational stakeholders attempted to influence the degree of decision-making. Data collection included numerous interviews beginning with an initial group of stakeholders who were privy to accountability decisions. Snowball sampling was then used to identify additional interviewees. In addition, a variety of press releases, public documents, and media articles were analyzed to understand the public narrative. Findings revealed how values and power were driving factors in decision-making and how stakeholders work toward the policy goals. Further, findings illustrate how societal values can work in tandem or in opposition in the pursuit of policy goals and how stakeholders utilize distinct sources of power available to them with disparate effect.
In Copyright. URI: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/ This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).
Copyright, 2022, by Angela M. Rhett, All Rights Reserved
Rhett, Angela M..
"Values and Power as Levers to Influence Accountability Policy in Virginia: A Case Study"
(2022). Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Dissertation, Educational Foundations & Leadership, Old Dominion University, DOI: 10.25777/kzka-kk89