International Project for the Study of Educational Accountability Systems (IPEA)

Using standardized tests of student achievement to monitor educational systems and hold educators accountability has been a cornerstone of educational policy in the U.S. and U.K. for years and is now a central element of education reform in many countries worldwide. Studies have shown that in education, as in many other fields, overly simple outcomes-based accountability systems can generate severe distortions, but the research base is not yet sufficient to guide the development of more effective systems.

The IPEA was established in response. Chaired by Professor Daniel Koretz of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, IPEA is an international, interdisciplinary network of researchers working on the design and effects of test-based monitoring and accountability systems. Issues currently under consideration by IPEA members include the relative effects of information-oriented and accountability-oriented externally imposed tests, the effects of different types of accountability systems on instruction, school- and system-level predictors of score inflation, innovations in test design to make assessments better suited to use in accountability systems, and the functioning of inspectorates and other judgmental measures in test-based systems.

Further Readings

Brunner, M., Artelt, C., Krauss, S., & Baumert, J. (2007). Coaching for the PISA Test. Learning and Instruction, 17, 111-122.

Stecher, B. M. (2002). Consequences of large-scale, high stakes testing on school and classroom practice. In L. S. Hamilton, B. M. Stecher & S. P. Klein (Eds.), Making sense of test-based accountability in education (pp. 79-100). Santa Monica: RAND Corporation.

Jacob, B. A. (2007). Test-based accountability and student achievement: An investigation of differential performance on NAEP and state assessments. Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research.


Jürgen Baumert
Michael Becker
Dirk Richter

in cooperation with:
Olaf Köller (IQB)
Claus Carstensen
(IPN Kiel)
Anand Pant (ISQ)
Eckhard Klieme
Anton Béguin (CITO)
Henk Moelands
Michael Beller
Analian Schlosser
(Tel Aviv University)
Beno Csapo
(University of Szeged)
Danile Koretz
(Harvard University)
Brian Stecher
(RAND Corporation)