School Psychology Review

Accountability Practices of School Psychologists: 1991 National Survey

Thomas N. Fairchild & Joseph E. Zins

pp. 617-627

Mini-Series: Understanding and Meeting the Psychological and Educational Needs of African-American and Spanish-Speaking Students

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In 1984 a national survey of the accountability practices of school psychologists was conducted. In order to assess current practice and to determine changes that may have occurred, another national survey was conducted. A questionnaire of accountability practices was sent to 360 members of the National Association of School Psychologists; 161 usable questionnaires were returned. This article describes the results including (a ) current accountability efforts, (b ) how participants learned about accountability methods, (c) significant barriers to the collection of accountability data, (d ) the relationship between involvement in accountability efforts and demographic variables, (e ) changing trends in accountability practices, and (f) suggestions for increasing activity in this area. Results indicated that 57.8% of the 161 respondents were collecting accountability data, which was not statistically different from the 60% rate found in the 1984 survey. The respondents not collecting such data identified lack of familiarity with procedures, time constraints, and failure to consider the topic as major reasons for their lack of involvement. Respondents indicated a need for additional preservice and in-service training on specific methods, procedures, and practices. A critical analysis of the results is presented.