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  ACCOUNTABILITY
 
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Accountability--Sanctions/Interventions
Assessment
No Child Left Behind--Assessment
No Child Left Behind--Consequences for Schools
Standards


Race to the Top: Promising Approaches to Assisting the Lowest-Performing Schools (Goal 4) MS Word PDF - (Jennifer Dounay, Education Commission of the States, March 2009)...

Best in Class: Raising Student Achievement: Case Study MS Word - Pennsylvania was one of the first states to adopt the Standard & Poor’s School Evaluation Services (SES). This service provides over 100 measures of school and district performance covering such areas as student results, spending, return on resources, the learning environment, revenue and demographics. This case study follows the progress of the Tyrone area schools in Pennsylvania. (Education Commission of the States, July 2004)...

Building Trust and Improving Performance: Case Study MS Word - Michigan was the first state to adopt the Standard & Poor’s School Evaluation Services (SES). This service provides over 100 measures of school and district performance covering such areas as student results, spending, return on resources, learning environment, revenue and demographics. This case study follows the progress of Colon community schools in Michigan. (Education Commission of the States, July 2004)...

District Leaders Use Data To Garner State Resources: Case Study MS Word - Pennsylvania was one of the first states to adopt the Standard & Poor’s School Evaluation Services (SES). This service provides over 100 measures of school and district performance covering such areas as student results, spending, return on resources, the learning environment, revenue and demographics. This case study follows the progress of the Reading school district in Pennsylvania. (Education Commission of the States, July 2004)...

Raising Expectations by Benchmarking Better Performers: Case Study MS Word - Michigan was the first state to adopt the Standard & Poor’s School Evaluation Services (SES). This service provides over 100 measures of school and district performance covering such areas as student results, spending, return on resources, learning environment, revenue and demographics. This case study follows the progress of Midland schools in Michigan. (Education Commission of the States, July 2004)...

State and District Approaches to School Improvement: Helping All Students Meet High Academic Standards PDF - This guide provides a snapshot of five different approaches to systemwide improvement developed by the National Forum on Accountability with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The models are based on principles that support teaching and learning, hold more stakeholders accountable and include all levels of the education system – state, district, school and classroom. (Jane Armstrong, Education Commission of the States, November 2004)...

Strengthening Education in Rural Communities: Case Study MS Word - Pennsylvania was one of the first states to adopt the Standard & Poor’s School Evaluation Services (SES). This service provides over 100 measures of school and district performance covering such areas as student results, spending, return on resources, the learning environment, revenue and demographics. This case study follows the progress of the Pennsylvania Legislature. (Education Commission of the States, July 2004)...

Using Data for Educational, Employment and Community Decisions: Case Study MS Word - Michigan was the first state to adopt the Standard & Poor’s School Evaluation Services (SES). This service provides over 100 measures of school and district performance covering such areas as student results, spending, return on resources, learning environment, revenue and demographics. This case study follows the progress of Clio area schools in Michigan. (Education Commission of the States, July 2004)...

Urban School District Accountability Systems - Based on a telephone survey of the nation’s largest 120 districts, this report examines to what extent large urban districts have accountability systems in place, puts forth a set of core principles for comprehensive district accountability systems and interprets the survey results in terms of the principles to create a clearer picture of how accountability systems are currently being implemented. (Donald McAdams, Michelle Wisdom, Sarah Glover and Anne McClellan, Education Commission of the States, December 2003)...

The Community Involvement Model MS Word PDF - There is a growing understanding that learning takes place in many places – after school, at home and in neighborhoods and communities, as well as during the school day. Schools and communities are learning to work together to help children, their families and their neighborhoods. Mobilizing resources effectively, to create the conditions for all students to succeed in school and beyond, requires frameworks of mutual and shared responsibility structured into comprehensive accountability systems. ...

The K-16 Model MS Word PDF - This paper proposes an accountability model based on viewing public education – from kindergarten through college, or "K-16" – as a single, integrated system. It focuses, in particular, on the crucial connection between the secondary and postsecondary levels. Two assumptions are central to this model. First, a logical continuum of academic standards and assessments spanning all levels of the education system – elementary, secondary and postsecondary – would enable students to better navigate the system, and more easily make the transition from one level to the next. Second, creating stronger connections between the K-12 and postsecondary systems – through curriculum, assessment, data collection and other major policy structures – could provide the means to increase students' participation in, and readiness for, postsecondary education, particularly economically disadvantaged and minority students....

The Quality Improvement Model MS Word PDF - Establishing challenging standards, assessing progress and being accountable for results are all necessary ingredients in the nationwide effort to raise student achievement. But just as essential is the ability to raise the organizational performance of the education system itself....

The Regulated Market Model MS Word PDF - Market-based accountability assumes good schools will achieve success through freedom of choice by families, educators and school operators. It assumes that competition will result in schools providing good instruction for students and a positive working environment for teachers, and that competition will reward schools that use money efficiently. Under market accountability, schools would not be subordinate to bureaucracies, but rather would be enterprises that succeed or fail depending on whether they can attract families and teachers....

The Teacher Professionalism Model MS Word PDF - The No Child Left Behind Act's call for a high-quality teacher in every classroom has placed greater emphasis on strengthening the teaching profession. Research has clearly demonstrated that effective teachers are instrumental in helping students learn and meet challenging standards. Given the skill demands placed on teachers in today's classrooms, teaching must be conceived along the lines of a professional model. For example, teachers must customize teaching for each learner, use data effectively for diagnosing learning needs, work collaboratively with other teachers, identify and share best practices, and hold one another accountable for meeting professional standards. ...

A Quality Improvement Approach To Accountability in K-12 Education Systems: A Second Generation Model MS Word PDF - The second generation accountability plan described in this paper applies principles of the quality improvement movement also known as Total Quality Management (TQM). The quality improvement approach offers a framework for continuous school improvement that includes: defining education quality in terms of student outcomes; focusing on the processes of teaching, learning and student assessment; working in teams to improve results; basing decisions on student data; and creating a quality-oriented culture through leadership and governance. (Steven J. Adamowski and Joseph F. Johnson, Education Commission of the States, July 2003)...

Accountability Systems Need Flexibility MS Word - The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) puts pressure on states and school districts to do something they have been unable to do before – complete the accountability elements of their standards-based reform laws. A good accountability system provides flexibility by creating multiple options for students, parents, schools and school districts to ensure providers are held accountable for results. (Paul T. Hill, Center on Reinventing Public Education at the Evans School, University of Washington, July 2003)...

Instructional and Assessment Systems of Successful Schools MS Word - This paper examines systems of educational assessment and supporting policies and actions that highly effective schools have created and implemented. Schools that have been identified as “in need of improvement” by the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) could use such methods at the school and classroom levels to achieve comparable success. (Edward Roeber, Education Commission of the States, July 2003)...

Involving Community Members in Decisionmaking: Connecticut MS Word - Test scores showed great improvement at the Katherine Brennan School in New Haven, Connecticut, after the addition of a preschool program, a medical suite and a social services arm – the latter two right in the school building. Community participation in decisionmaking has proved key to the progress this school has made. The School Planning and Management Team – consisting of parents, community residents, faculty and school staffers – helps make critical decisions about what's needed at the school and in the neighborhood. (Education Commission of the States, May 2003)...

Key Questions for District Leaders in Creating and Supporting Charter Districts MS Word - The purpose of this document is to present the key questions that district leaders need to answer as they think about charter districts. The questions deal with creating a vision and goals, preparing for the transformation process and creating opportunities, incentives and capacity to perform. (Bryan Hassel and Todd Ziebarth, Education Commission of the States, April 2003)...

Key Questions for State Leaders in Creating and Supporting Charter Districts MS Word - The purpose of this document is to present the key questions that state leaders need to answer as they think about charter districts. The questions deal with the benefits and challenges to the state in creating charter districts, creating charter district legislation and creating supporting legislation. (Bryan Hassel and Todd Ziebarth, Education Commission of the States, April 2003)...

Using Technology To Improve Accountability Systems MS Word - Technology provides ways of designing, collecting and sharing information that can help improve accountability systems and outcomes. This paper gives a set of criteria to educators and policymakers to help them make better technology choices that improve learning and make teachers more effective. It reviews issues that must be considered such as security, compatibility, resilience and transparency. It provides examples of effective use of technology available now and it shows elements of design and technology in practice in two very different school district settings. (Eva Baker, Education Commission of the States, July 2003)...

Leaving No School Behind: New Imperative for State Education MS Word - The passage of the No Child Left Behind Act will bring dramatic changes to many states’ accountability systems. According to this article, the most legislative attention has been focused on identifying and improving the performance of low-performing schools. In terms of compliance, earlier this year only 15 states met the assessment requirements, and just 12 states provided support to low-performing districts or schools. (Jane Armstrong, State Education Leader, Education Commission of the States, Fall 2002)...

"Next-Generation" Accountability Models: Principles from Interviews MS Word - In spring 2000, ECS conducted telephone interviews with 15 members of the National Forum on Accountability and 15 other national experts on accountability to identify themes and principles for “next-generation” accountability models. Through the interviews, seven common principles were identified. (Education Commission of the States, May 2002)...

A Guide to Standards-Based Assessment PDF - This No Child Left Behind issue brief discusses standards-based asssessments -- their role in education reform; how they differ from other tests; and the challenges they pose to state leaders and educators. (Education Commission of the States, May 2002)...

A Noble Opportunity: Leading Education Change through a P-16 Accountability Model MS Word - This Briefing Paper from the National Forum on Accountability presents a new accountability model guided by the P-16 system of education -- preschool through college. The new model aims to ensure that all segments of a state's education system are serving students well and working together to meet student and educator needs. (Stephen Portch, Education Commission of the States, May 2002)...

A Student-Centered P-16 Accountability Model MS Word - This Briefing Paper from the National Forum on Accountability outlines a "next generation" accountability model that spans states' education systems from pre-kindergarten through the end of undergraduate education (P-16). The author argues that new accountability systems should provide opportunities for all students to prepare well for, and succeed, in college. (Andrea Venezia, Stanford Institute for Higher Education Research, May 2002)...

Accountability in Small Schools: One Learner at a Time MS Word - Small schools typically approach accountability in fundamentally different ways than traditional schools. According to the authors, society cannot afford to build sophisticated student-performance information systems to support separate accountability systems. There is a need to look for ways to use school-based, student-centered accountability systems to satisfy the state's accountability needs. An example of how such a system might work is provided. (Elliot Washor and Charles Mojkowski, Education Commission of the States, November 2002)...

Accountability Systems: Ramifications of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 MS Word - The new Elementary and Secondary Education Act requires states to demonstrate that students are making academic progress as evidenced by annual gains in test scores. States have some flexibility in defining adequate yearly progress (AYP), but their definitions must be based on academic indicators, be technically rigorous and apply to school, district and state levels of progress. These ambitious goals will present significant challenges to states as they attempt to implement the new accountability requirements. (Robert L. Linn, Eva L. Baker, Damian W. Betebenner, Education Commission of the States, May 2002)...

Appropriate Inclusion of Students with Disabilities in State Accountability Systems MS Word - Passage of several recent federal laws requires that all students with disabilities participate in general assessments at the state and local level. The performance of students with disabilities can be assessed through the general assessment, with or without accommodations, or through an alternate assessment. Regardless of the assessment used, results must be reported to determine if students with disabilities are making adequate progress toward proficiency on state standards. This paper describes the policy and technical issues that states must consider when deciding how to combine general and alternate assessments. (Edward Roeber, ECS Issue Brief, Education Commission of the States, November 2002)...

Big Testing and Small Schools MS Word - Concerns about the effects of large-scale accountability assessments – Big Testing – on small high schools are described in this briefing paper from the National Forum on Accountability. An alternative accountability model based on the primary characteristics and capacities of successful small high schools is proposed. (Rexford Brown, Education Commission of the States, May 2002)...

Decentralization and Accountability: A School-Centered, Contracting Strategy for a System of Schools MS Word - This briefing paper from the National Forum on Accountability captures key ideas about accountability strategies to develop a "system of schools," which the author has written extensively on the subject. (Paul Hill, Education Commission of the States, May 2002)...

Emerging Issues in the Design of Next Generation Accountability Models MS Word - States must consider numerous issues as they revisit the design and implementation of education accountability systems. Issues to consider include underlying theories of action, shared accountability, the role and quality of assessments, building capacity for improvement, defining acceptable school performance, and monitoring the implementation and impact of accountability designs. (Michael Cohen, The Aspen Institute Program on Education, May 2002)...

Excerpts from: Using Accountability to Build Strong Schools MS Word - Many lessons have been learned from the first-generation accountability models, which have been helpful in considering the design of next-generation accountability models. This issue brief describes a next-generation model where schools are the primary unit of change. Before designing next-generation models, a focus on developing a theory of action is necessary. Accountability should be distributed throughout the system to guard against creating accountability “hot spots.” To ensure accountability system data gets used effectively, time must be set aside to interpret data and stakeholders should be trained in how to interpret data. (Kate Nolan, Project Align, July 2002)...

Inclusion of English Language Learners in State Accountability Systems MS Word - This paper frames the issues for adequately including English-language learners (ELL) in assessments. Issues to consider include: strengthening the research; the role of native-language assessments; test development; determining reasonable expectations around gains, assignment of accountability and reporting systems. (Delia Pompa, National Association for Bilingual Education, December 2002)...

Teaching Quality: A National Perspective MS Word - A growing body of evidence confirms that quality teaching is the single most influential determinant of student academic success, outside of home and family. Some recent policy trends in ensuring the best teachers are in our classrooms include increased accountability of teachers and schools for value-added evidence of student learning, exploring alternative routes into the teaching profession, and community colleges' role in teacher preparation. (Charles Coble and Jennifer Piscatelli, Education Commission of the States, State Education Leader, Fall 2002)...

What is an Accountability Model? MS Word - This issue paper provides an overview of the various elements of an accountability system design and policies that support them. Design elements include values, beliefs and theories of action; purposes; determining who is accountable for what; measures; collecting data; judging performance; consequences; reporting results; capacity building; and evaluating state accountability systems. To ensure “next-generation” accountability models will have their intended results, other state and local policies should be aligned to each model. (Jane Armstrong, Education Commission of the States, July 2002)...

The Progress of Education Reform 1999-2001: Accountability MS Word PDF - Looks at performance-based accountability strategies, including holding students and teachers accountable for results, using rewards and sanctions for improving performance, and the quality of state academic standards. (Suzanne Weiss, The Progress of Education Reform, Education Commission of the States, vol. 2, no. 1, June-July 2000)...

In Pursuit of Quality Teaching: Five Key Strategies for Policymakers PDF - This report provides a digest of useful information for policymakers who are dealing with what is generally agreed as the most urgent and critical issues involving the improvement of teaching in the nation’s schools: preparation and induction; recruitment and retention; professional development; licensure, evaluation and accountability; and school and district leadership. The report offers strategies for improving the quality of teaching, along with specific options available to policymakers in each of the five areas. (Education Commission of the States, 2000)...

Two Paths to Quality Teaching: Implications for Policymakers MS Word - Based on a March 2000 debate on teacher quality between Linda Darling-Hammond, of the National Commission on Teaching and America's Future, and Chester Finn Jr., of the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, this publication compares and contrasts the two positions and suggests some policy implications of the identified points of agreement. (Education Commission of the States, June 2000)...

Governing America's Schools: Changing the Rules PDF - The time is right for state and local policymakers and educators to rethink and redesign how we govern our schools. This report, which The Wall Street Journal commended for "sweeping away decades of cobwebs surrounding previous reform proposals" and setting "a high standard for future debate on the subject," outlines two potential approaches for governing the nation's schools. Both of the proposed approaches seek to build on the strengths of the prevailing governance system while infusing it with a greater capacity for adaptability, flexibility and accountability. An Executive Summary of this publication is available. (National Commission on Governing America's Schools, Education Commission of the States, November 1999)...

Designing and Implementing Standards-based Accountability Systems MS Word - This popular publication provides a solid base for establishing and evaluating accountability systems in your state, district or school. It addresses major accountability issues for policymakers and how state, district and school accountability systems should be coordinated. It also takes you through 10 key policy issues critical to designing and implementing accountability systems. (Jane Armstrong, Michael C. Biance and Edward Roeber, Education Commission of the States, March 1998) ...

Investing in Quality Teaching: State-Level Strategies MS Word - Recent studies have consistently found that teacher expertise is the single most important determinant of student achievement. Each dollar spent on improving teachers' qualifications nets greater gains in student learning than any other use of an education dollar. State policymakers can have a major impact on the quality of the teaching force if they are willing to look seriously at redesigning teaching standards, teacher education, hiring, recruitment, induction, evaluation and professional development. (Linda Darling-Hammond, Education Commission of the States, December 1998)...

So You Have Standards -- Now What? MS Word - With standards in place or being developed in nearly every state, next on the horizon are new assessments that measure progress toward achieving the standards. This top-selling guide provides tips and strategies on how to involve educators, the public and parents in deciding on new forms of assessment. Includes a list of concerns the public is raising about assessments and tips for meeting the policy and communications challenges ahead. (Jane Armstrong, Education Commission of the States, February 1, 1997)...

Holding High Hopes: How High Schools Respond to State Accountability Policies - This policy brief examines how 48 low-performing high schools in 34 districts in six states responded to state accountability policies. While some schools did receive guidance from outside assistance providers, the decision-making processes in a majority of the high schools “were often haphazard and left up to individual teachers acting on their own initiative.” The authors identify three factors that appear to push districts to make high schools raise student achievement: the high school’s previous performance, the size of the district central office and district leadership supportive of their state’s accountability system. (Margaret E. Goertz and Diane Massell, Consortium for Policy Research in Education, January 2005)...

Standards Deviation: How Schools Misunderstand Education Policy - Instructional policy reforms that focus on standards and assessments have gained popularity in the past two decades. This policy brief summarizes the findings of a book by the author that examines state and local government relations as standards move from the statehouse to the district policymakers and teachers who attempt to make sense of them. The study is based on data collected from a four-year examination of approaches to the use of standards in nine Michigan districts between 1992 and 1996. This overview: (1) frames the subject of a standards-based reform; (2) discusses the Michigan science and math standards; (3) explores variations in the progress of standards among districts; and (4) discusses implications of the study for policy outcomes, analysis and design. (Jim Spillane, Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania, June 2005)...

Grading the Systems: The Guide to State Standards, Tests, and Accountability Policies - The authors examine how 30 states measure up to six criteria of a solid accountability system: (1) student knowledge and skills standards, (2) test content, (3) alignment between standards and tests, (4) rigor of the tests, (5) technical trustworthiness and opennness of the tests, and (6) accountability policies (both before and after implementation of policies required by the No Child Left Behind Act). The authors found that while standards were rated as 2.9 (on a 5-point scale) in the national average, test content, alignment to standards and trustworthiness and openness rated slightly higher on a national average. Accountability policies jumped a full point from before to after NCLB – to 3.7, but test rigor received the weakest national average rating, at 2.4. (Edited by Richard W. Cross, Theodor Rebarber and Justin Torres; Foreword by Chester E. Finn, Jr., AccountabilityWorks and the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, January 2004)...

Individual Growth and School Success - The authors use assessment results for individual schools in Indiana to make the case that annual growth in student achievement, rather than absolute achievement alone, must be a consideration in determining school performance. They point out the limitations of the adequate yearly progress (AYP) model currently used as the accountability mechanism in No Child Left Behind, namely: (1) the strong correlation between “snapshot” analyses of student performance and student demographics; (2) the inability of AYP to measure the growth of students far below or far above standard; (3) the inability to prove that students moving to schools with higher test scores indeed receive a better education; and (4) the need to examine the results of high-performing schools to establish viable goals. A “hybrid model” is proposed as a more effective method of measuring school effectiveness. An executive summary also is available. (Free registration is required to view the full report.) (Martha S. McCall, G. Gage Kingsbury and Allan Olson, Northwest Evaluation Association, April 2004)...

Organizational Improvement and Accountability: Lessons for Education from Other Sectors - Examining five accountability models drawn from manufacturing, government, the legal profession and health care, the authors seek ways that these practices can be applied to education, and what the implications of that application might be. A summary of the report also is available. (Brian Stecher and Sheila Nataraj Kirby, editors, RAND Corporation, 2004)...

Schooling, Statistics, and Poverty: Can We Measure School Improvement? - The author sets forth a series of questions addressing the capacity of accountability systems to answer questions of school quality; the degree of variation in assessments of school quality provided by mean-based and value-added accountability systems; the possibility of measuring school quality and school improvement with adequate reliability; and the implications for collecting, reporting and using school accountability data. The author contends that “accountability systems cannot produce direct evidence about the effectiveness of educational practices in a school.” He also finds that, although mean-proficiency and value-added indicators produce similar results in general, in many cases schools perceived as high-performing using mean-proficiency analysis would not be viewed as such using a value-added system, and vice versa. “A reassessment of approaches to accountability appears essential,” and the author proposes convening “a national panel of experts to evaluate current policy and recommend options.” (Stephen W. Raudenbush, Educational Testing Service, November 2004)...

The Cost of Accountability - Relative to other education programs, the costs of accountability systems are small, according to the author. States that spend the most on their accountability programs still spend less than .4% of their total per pupil spending on such programs. Of the 25 state accountability programs studied, costs ranged from $1.79 per pupil in South Carolina to $34.02 per pupil in Delaware. (Caroline M. Hoxby, Harvard University, 2002)...

A Case Study of Selected Schools in Economically Disadvantaged Districts - This document presents findings of studies on a number of schools with sudden and dramatic improvement in student performance on reading and math assessments to determine if those were sustained; and if so, what factors contributed to the schools' success. (Richard Tappan, The National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment, February 2003)...

Accountability: Responsibility and Reasonable Expectations - This paper discusses some of the central features of current educational accountability systems using the requirements under No Child Left Behind as the primary example. The author argues that to improve education, accountability systems need to be designed in ways that are consistent with past research evidence and experience. (Robert L. Linn, Center for the Study of Evaluation, National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing, July 2003)...

No Dream Denied: A Pledge to America's Children - Almost one-third of all new teachers leave the classroom after three years and close to 50% leave after five years, according to this national commission report. It also finds that retirement isn't the main culprit; teachers who leave the classroom for reasons other than retirement outnumber those retiring by almost three to one. More than a quarter of a million teachers stop teaching every year, and the cumulative effect is that high teacher turnover and attrition are undermining teaching quality. (National Commission on Teaching and America's Future, January 2003)...

Testing the Testers 2003: An Annual Ranking of State Accountability Systems - This review of state accountability systems ranks states according to four criteria: alignment of high-stakes tests to content knowledge, test quality, openness of testing policies and procedures, and the ability of the system to affect education in ways consistent with state goals. An executive summary is provided, as well as access to the full report, state data and state-by-state rankings. (The Princeton Review, 2003) ...

Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP): Requirements and Options MS Word - This report, written for the Minnesota Department of Education in 1998, provides a framework for defining school performance that is still useful in light of "No Child Left Behind" 2001. The author provides an overview of four different models for calculating AYP: using simple gain scores, using performance indices, requiring multiple changes for students at different levels and using statistical procedures. Each model has benefits and drawbacks, which are clearly described. The report concludes with a list of challenges around AYP that are applicable today. (Edward Roeber, Measured Progress, 1998)...

An Agenda for Research on Educational Testing - This board sets forth a research agenda designed to inform accountability systems by establishing the best uses of tests in different areas. The agenda lists five main priorities: (1) monitoring the effects of state-level tests, particularly promotion and exit exams, (2) designing state systems for accountability that meet technical requirements, as well as addressing public policy concerns; (3) understanding the role of tests in standards-based reform, particularly in terms of how they relate to educator motivation and action, as well as how they relate to student dropout rates; (4) understanding how standardized tests are used in college admissions; and (5) understanding the link between technology and testing. (National Board on Educational Testing and Public Policy, January 2000)...

The Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing - Because tests are important components of accountability systems, it is necessary to evaluate their qualities, particularly in terms of whether they are appropriate for the ways test results are used. Sound and ethical use of tests requires all participants to possess the knowledge, skills and abilities relevant to their role in the process. This research-oriented book of testing standards provides suggestions and guidelines for evaluating the quality of testing practices by addressing test development processes, uses and applications. Copies of this book may be ordered for $31.95 by calling 800.628.4094 or through the APA site. (American Educational Research Association, American Psychological Association, National Council on Measurement in Education, 1999)....

Teacher Effects as a Measure of Teacher Effectiveness: Construct Validity Considerations in TVAAS (Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System) PDF - Measurement experts at the University of Colorado provide a technical critique of the TVAAS as a valid measure of teacher effectiveness. The authors raise several questions about the methods used and how well they identify teacher effectiveness. A particular concern with TVAAS is that it doesn’t consider that high-achieving students are often assigned to highly effective teachers, so that the assessment of teacher effectiveness is magnified. The researchers argue that, since teaching quality in this model is defined solely in terms of raising student achievement, the model does not distinguish between good teachers and teachers who are teaching to the test. (H. Kupermintz, Lorrie Shepard and Robert Linn, University of Colorado, April 2001)...

Value-Added Assessment: An Accountability Revolution - Value-added assessment is a method of evaluating academic progress by comparing each student’s current scores on an assessment with their own previous scores. This report suggests that because value-added assessment does not depend on indiscriminate benchmarks, it objectively illustrates student progress and enables parents, taxpayers and policymakers to see how well schools are doing without penalizing disadvantaged schools. The method also evaluates teachers according to demonstrated results of student learning. The report asserts that the only disadvantage in using value-added assessment is that it must be supplemented with average levels of achievement and appropriate national norms against which these may be judged. (J.E. Stone, Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, July 1999)...

Better and Faster: Accelerating Advancement in School and Work - This script of a presentation at the Aspen Institute Congressional Seminar describes how to prepare students for work and education after high school. The author suggests: focusing on transitions to postsecondary education and work, reinventing rather than reforming high schools, creating multiple pathways to and through the second year of college, and ensuring Congress plays a leadership role. (Hilary Pennington, Jobs for the Future, 2002)...

Bridging the Gap Between Standards and Achievement: The Imperative for Professional Development in Education - The demands of current accountability systems and the present teacher education and professional development systems demand a new paradigm for teacher development, argues Richard Elmore in this report. He encourages a “consensus view” of effective professional development—embracing “a strong focus on systemwide and schoolwide performance goals, heavy emphasis on teachers’ content knowledge and the pedagogical skills that go with effective instruction, explicit theories of adult learning, use of group settings, moving learning close to the point of practice”—and identifies the areas that must be addressed in order for such large-scale improvement to be implemented. The author likewise defines high organizational capacity and its vital role in bringing about a system of effective professional development. (Richard F. Elmore, Albert Shanker Institute, 2002)...

Complexity, Accountability and School Improvement - This article presents some of the problems inherent in traditional rewards-and-sanctions school accountability policies, drawing examples from the Chicago "bureaucratic accountability" system. The author introduces the strengths and limitations of "professional accountability," which balances teacher skill issues with attention to student performance, and provides information on Baltimore's use of a hybrid of accountability models in its lowest-performing schools. (Jennifer O'Day, Harvard Educational Review, Harvard Education Publishing Group, Fall 2002)...

P-16 Education - This ERIC Digest article - by ECS policy analysts - provides a concise overview on the issue of P-16 education, outlining the goals, strengths and challenges of this integrated system of education. The article briefly highlights state efforts to implement P-16 reforms. (Gordon Van de Water and Carl Krueger, ERIC Digest, Number 159, June 2002)...

The Results and Performance Accountability Implementation Guide - This guide is for people whose work is to implement results or performance accountability in their community, city, school district, county, state or nation. Contains tools, resources, case studies, answers to commonly asked questions and a full report. (Mark Friedman, The Foundation Consortium, The Colorado Foundation, The Annie E. Casey Foundation, The Finance Project, and the Nebraska Children and Families Foundation, 2002)...

Using School-Community Partnerships To Bolster Student Learning - This policy brief examines how school-community partnerships can help mitigate the noncognitive barriers to learning so students can achieve to high standards. Policy recommendations for local, state and federal policymakers include coordinating policy and funding for collaborative endeavors, concentrating on recruitment and retention and funding professional development, and developing common data-collection protocols and sharing data across local agencies. (WestEd Policy Brief, December 2002)...

Toward a Framework for Validating Gains Under High-Stakes Conditions - It's not clear what student score increases mean in a high-stakes environment -- a problem with using them to determine rewards, sanctions or student promotion status. It's important to make sure that gains in test scores reflect gains in student learning, not just "teaching to the test." This technical report classifies different types of test preparation -- some of which provide meaningful test gains (teaching more, working harder and more effectively) and some that don't (narrowing the curriculum, coaching on specific content and test-taking strategies, and cheating). It also provides a framework for making sure test gains are valid. (Daniel Koretz, CRESST/Harvard Graduate School of Education; and Daniel McCaffrey and Laura Hamilton, CRESST/RAND Education, December 2001)...

Standards and Accountability: A Call by the Learning First Alliance for Mid-Course Corrections - Despite positive results in states and districts, there are serious concerns about the implementation of standards-based education, says a new statement from the Learning First Alliance. There are five core areas that require urgent attention: alignment of standards, curriculum and assessments; adequate professional development for teachers and principals; sufficient resources and support for each child to meet high standards; communication about the importance of standards and accountability; balanced and comprehensive accountability systems. (Learning First Alliance, 2001)...

Comparability: An Elusive Goal - This article provides a historical description of the federal government’s approach to establishing comparability of student achievement across states. Although comparability is appealing to federal lawmakers, traditionally there have been problems with establishing it – largely because equating and/or linking different state tests is not technically feasible. Achieving interstate comparability is not likely because of how much different tests vary in the content and skills they test, the conditions under which they are administered, and the incentives that are attached to test performance. (J. Herman, E. Baker and R. Linn, CRESST, Spring 2001)...

Getting to Results, Building a Prototype for Results-Based Accountability in Maryland: Excerpt from Maryland 2001 Kids Count Factbook - In October 1999, Maryland set out to develop a prototype results-based process for the legislature and executive branches to follow in planning, budgeting and accounting for the well-being of children and families.This report is a brief description of how each of seven key questions in the results-based prototype for accountability were answered from October 1999 to February 2001. (Philip L. Lee, Maryland's 2001 Kids Count Factbook, Advocates for Children and Youth and Annie E. Casey Foundation, 2001)...

Making Education Dollars Work: Understanding Resource Allocation - Resource allocation decisions have traditionally focused on available resources rather than outputs such as student achievement, according to this article. Tools for examining resource allocation and student achievement are provided. (Insights, Southwest Educational Development Laboratory, November 2001)...

Rewarding Schools Based on Gains: It’s All in How You Calculate the Index and Set the Target - The authors identify three core elements of an accountability system: (1) the index or scale used to rate school performance for accountability purposes; (2) the target, or those index values that determine a school’s status or rating in the accountability system; and (3) positive or negative consequences, such as rewards or sanctions. This report uses multiyear data from California schools to model the effects of using different formulas to calculate school growth and eligibility for rewards. It concludes that small differences in formulas have considerable effects on how schools are rated and which are eligible for rewards. The report is available at no charge from RAND: toll free 1-877-584-8642 or P.O. Box 2138, Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138. (Brian Stecher and Jeremy Arkes, RAND, April 2001) ...

A Compendium of Accountability Reports from the State Education Improvement Partnership (SEIP) PDF - Members of SEIP -- Council of Chief State School Officers, Education Commission of the States, National Association of State Boards of Education, National Conference of State Legislatures and National Governors' Association -- have produced many publications concerning standards-based assessments and accountability systems. This is a synthesis by ECS of the best data and information from these organizations about designing and implementing accountability systems in schools and districts. (SEIP, 1999)...

Measuring What Matters - This report hails testing and accountability as fundamental to improving student learning. The result of more than a year of research, the report calls tests that are valid, reliable and fair the best means of charting the country’s progress toward the goal of improved academic achievement. It applauds the efforts under way in virtually every state to specify academic standards and measure student learning. The report, however, offers a word of caution: tests are a means, not an end, to school reform. More work must be done to ensure that tests are good measures of learning. (Committee for Economic Development, December 2000)...

Standards-Based Accountability Systems - This policy brief summarizes the latest research findings about standards-based accountability systems and reviews the major policy challenges associated with implementing such systems. (Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning, April 2000) ...

A Working Annotated Bibliography of Selected Articles on Accountability and Incentives MS Word - This working bibliography was prepared by Leah Altemeier, Lisa Carlos, Don Klein and Joan McRobbie of the Policy Support & Studies Program at WestEd. Its purpose is to introduce readers to selected articles that raise some of the complex issues involved in designing accountability and incentive structures. (Reprinted with permission from WestEd, July 1, 1998)...

A Look at Kentucky's Accountability Program - School Reform Efforts Bear Fruit MS Word - A state-level accountability program can lead to significant improvement in school performance. Kentucky schools successfully met student achievement goals in the state’s school-based performance award program by making considerable changes in curriculum and instruction. The 16 schools studied were selected to represent elementary, middle and high schools in various geographic regions and reaching various levels of success in their accountability goals. [Reprinted with permission from Carolyn Kelley, WCER (Wisconsin Center for Education Research) Highlights, June 1998]...

Accountability and Students with Disabilities MS Word - Analyzes state and local policies and their relationship to the development of inclusive schooling practices. The framework corresponds with the prevailing reform paradigm in most states by focusing on standards-based systemic reform across six major policy areas: curriculum, student assessment, accountability, personnel development and professional training, finance and governance. This Issue Brief extends the discussion of one of these policy areas -- accountability -- by defining the concept and illustrating six approaches to its implementation. [Reprinted with permission from CISP (Consortium on Inclusive Schooling Practices) Publications and Resources, June 1, 1998]...

How Good is Good? How Bad is Bad? — Accountability Programs for Education MS Word - A lively discussion of accountability in education from a state historical perspective. (Article by Chris Pipho reprinted with permission from Phi Delta Kappan, November 1997)...


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