Breakthrough or Breakdown? School Accountability in Flux
Already under fire before spring 2020, the dominance of federally mandated test-based accountability in American education had led many educators and policymakers to decry the system as largely out of balance and to suggest that this imbalance has stifled productive local efforts toward meaningful, lasting improvements in student learning. It is not too early to conclude that all these cumulative factors will—and should—change assessment and accountability systems. But what kind of change is appropriate, and how can state boards of education support such changes?
Also In this Issue
Five states received federal waivers for regular assessments so they could pilot assessment systems in select districts or schools over five years.
By learning from the past, state boards can add depth and relevance to their assessment systems.
How alternate assessments for students with disabilities and English learners can point us toward better systems for all.
State policymakers should take the opportunity to reimagine their education systems.
Time to steer systems toward better balance and coherence.
State leaders should stick with their assessments because they improve student learning and school performance.
These questions can help frame conversations on assessment approval and intersections with state accountability.