In this book, Wagner examines the assumptions underlying criticisms of major institutions for their lack of attention to the ethical and practical ramifications of their policies. In public education, it is often thought that greater teacher "accountability" would resolve many problems in school performance and related areas. Wagner questions the validity of this assumption. He analyzes accountability relationships in schools, discussing the responsibility students have for the quality of their own experiences, as well as the potential accountability of parents and other groups and relating the issue of accountability in education to questions of moral and legal obligation in areas such as business, government and law. His book provides a cogent philosophical analysis of accountability and is invaluable to an understanding of a major issue in the contemporary discussion of education.
Robert B. Wagne is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Associate Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell.