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Fixing Our National Accountability System - Calling for a greater role for state education agencies, Marc Tucker writes that our current system of accountability is punitive to the point that teacher morale is low, teachers are leaving for more rewarding, lucrative professions, and fewer students are applying to education schools. His solution is to test less and use data from the tests to identify struggling schools, which state education agencies then would help. Teachers wouldn't be judged by students' scores, but would be part of a professional team, helping each other to greater student achievement. It is a model used by more successful education systems in other countries. (Marc S. Tucker, National Center on Education and the Economy, August 2014)...

Access to High School Arts Education: Why Student Participation Matters as Much as Course Availability - While the value of arts education is widely acknowledged, little is known about access to arts education. Researchers developed indices to identify high schools rich in the arts, and found they didn't necessarily have high rates of participation. They recommend any examination of access to arts education should consider both course availability and student engagement. Policymakers can use their indices to assess the current state of arts education in their states. (M. Kathleen Thomas et al., Education Policy Analysis Archives, November 2013)...

Predictors of Postsecondary Success - Intended to help policymakers and educators identify qualities that predict postsecondary success, this brief summarizes research on the subject from early childhood to high school. At the lower levels, predictors mostly related to leapfrogging to achievement at higher levels, for example kindergarten readiness predicting third-grade reading proficiency. At high school, there were numerous indicators and predictors reflecting a breadth of research. (Vanessa Hein, Becky Smerdon and Megan Sambolt, American Institutes for Research, November 2013)...

Toward Universal Learning: A Global Framework for Measuring Learning - More than 250 million of the world’s children can’t read, write or count well enough to meet minimum learning standards. In an attempt to address that problem, the global Learning Metrics Task Force first presented seven learning domains they felt all children and youth should master no matter where they lived in the world. Following that, this report asserts that measurement can play a crucial role in improvement and identifies six areas of measurement for global tracking to fill the data gap on learning. (UNESCO, UNESCO Institute for Statistics and the Center for Universal Education at Brookings, July 2013)...

Some Assembly Required: Building a Better Accountability System for California - This report argues that California and many other states have the foundations in place to build better accountability systems — systems that focus on meaningful school improvement; they just need to put the pieces together in the right way. The author proposes a three-pronged approach to putting California back on a path to national leadership in education: measure a school’s performance based on indicators of success rather than proxy measures like standardized test scores; better analyze performance data; and send highly trained, independent consultants to schools to review, observe, and judge performance. (Education Sector, July 2012)...

In Search of Leading Indicators in Education - Recently, education policymakers have invested in the use of data for organizational improvement in states and districts with such initiatives as Race to The Top and the development of statewide longitudinal data systems. In this paper, the authors conceptualize how systematically collected data might be used in education, using examples from a small sample of school districts with reputations as strong users of data. (Jonathan Sopovitz, Ellen Foley, and Jacob Mishook, Education Policy Analysis Archives, July 2012)...

Ready by Design: A College and Career Agenda for California - This document takes a look at California’s current accountability system, with the authors asserting it isn’t producing students who are graduating from high school ready for college and careers. The authors propose an alternative system for California that is focused on postsecondary readiness. Specifically, they argue that a new system should give educators detailed information about how their students fare after graduation so they could learn whether those students were ready for college or the workforce, and if they weren’t, how they could be served better. (Education Sector, June 2012)...

On Her Majesty's School Inspection Service - The author argues that education policymakers should take a closer look at another accountability system—on-site inspections. In the report, Jerald examines the rigor involved in a school inspection in England, a system that aims to give parents better information about schools and to hold schools accountable for performance. (Education Sector, 2012) ...

The Accountability Plateau - This paper presents an analysis of NAEP scores — focusing on Texas and on the entire nation. Findings indicate that solid gains in math achievement coincided with the advent of "consequential accountability," when the introduction of a high-stakes testing system corresponds with a one-time boost in student achievement. Using Texas as an example, the author warns that the state's recent plateau in math scores may foreshadow a coming stagnation in the country’s performance. (Thomas B. Fordham Institute, Dec 2011)...

When Performance Matters: The Past, Present, and Future of Consequential Accountability in Public Education - Reviews the evolution of consequential accountability in the United States. The authors argue that this reform model has led to significant gains in student achievement, and they evaluate different state models and contrast them with No Child Left Behind (NCLB). They suggest which aspects of NCLB should be maintained, and what improvements would maximize the effectiveness of consequential accountability. (Sandy Kress, Stephanie Zechman and J. Matthew Schmitten, Harvard Journal on Legislation, Summer 2011)...

Metrics for School Turnaround: A Comprehensive Set of Metrics to Measure School Turnaround Efforts - This PowerPoint presentation is a supplement to the main report, Evaluating School Turnaround. Mass Insight focuses their work on a number of core activities, including the development of cutting edge, research-based toolkits, communication of both their principals and strategies to key stakeholders, and support for states and districts in designing and implementing dramatic reform strategies. (Mass Insight Education, September 2010)...

The Numbers We Need: How the Right Metrics Could Improve K-12 Education - This Outlook outlines several steps that, if implemented, could make data-driven management in education a reality and lays out key measurements districts should collect to make data analysis an effective tool for improving education. (Frederick Hess and Jon Fullerton, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, February 2010)...

College- and Career-Ready: Using Outcomes Data to Hold High Schools Accountable for Student Success - Most high schools are rated on only two measures: graduation rates and student scores on basic skills tests given in a single year. States can use college remediation needs of public high school students and other data systems to create richer, more accurate, more multi-dimensional measures of high school success. (Chad Aldeman, Education Sector, January 2010)...

Moving Beyond AYP: High School Performance Indicators - The nation's leaders and policymakers have embraced the idea that the education system must establish "college and career readiness" as a goal for all students. More and better data is critical to both identifying problems and addressing them. A number of high school performance indicators have emerged as being predictive of high school graduation and college or career readiness. This report described the research behind those indicators and the current use across the nation. (Lyndsay Pinkus, Alliance for Excellent Education, June 2009)...


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