In October, EDCHOICE a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to educational choice published a report entitled “DO-OVER OR DOUBLE DOWN? – Working Toward a New K-12 Education Accountability Ecosystem”.
The Report begins with a short history of school accountability since 1865 when New York State instituted the Regents Exams until the enactment of Every Student Succeeds Act in 2015. It then quickly moves to outlining the success of the school accountability movement of the last 20 years. 1] A focus on Equity, 2] More Transparency, 3] Data Literacy, and 4] Improved Test Scores.
It also identifies the Missteps of the Accountability Movement– 1] The Narrowing of the Goals of Schools, 2] Incentivizing “Drill & Kill” and Gaming, 3] Expanding Accountability to Teachers Drove Pushback, and 4] A Mixed Bag: Trust.
The Report then goes on to look at the Current State of School Accountability – 1] Lack of Clarity of Purpose of School Accountability, 2] Layering of Mandates and Assessments, 3] We’re Not Measuring What Parents Care About, and 4] Politics.
It then offers some new priorities for School Accountability – 1] Restoring Trust, 2] More Honesty About Tradeoffs, 3] Focus on Forming Human Beings, 4] Building of the Strengths of America – creativity and entrepreneurship, 5] Continuous Improvement Over Sticks and Carrots, and 6] Serving All Children and All Schools
Finally the Report that with new priorities there is a need for New Data which is outlined in five groups: 1] Student Characteristics, 2] Student Academic Performance, 3] School Quality, 4] School Climate, and 5] Policy Metrics.
I encourage everyone who is interested in the education accountability to read the Report – if nothing else it will raise your consciousness of the issues involved in education accountability.