As it is the date of Stephen Covey’s death, it is most appropriate to refer to him when the issue of accountability is discussed. Mr. Covey wrote of the idea of “response-ability” – the ability to respond adequately at the “moment of choice”. No matter what befalls us, we always have the ability to creatively respond, something that sets humankind apart from other animals. We have choice in our response to anything that happens to us. The choice is ours, as is the consequence.
My mentor, Blaine Ray, has an “80 out of 80” criteria for any assessment in his class. If 80% of his students attain 80% or better on a test or quiz, he has taught the material. Anything short of that criteria, he hasn’t done his job. No excuses.
Was it student laziness? He needs to work on firmly enforcing his expectations. Students not familiar with the content? He needs to fine-tune his instruction. Were students confused? Align lesson outcomes with the assessment better.
In the end, Mr. Ray owns the consequences, and responds accordingly.