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How States Should Redesign Their Accountability Systems Under ESSA

Education Next – David Griffith and Michael J. Petrilli

“Those of us at the Fordham Institute have long held that there’s no one best way to design a state accountability system. It’s not just that we can’t even agree amongst ourselves about the relative importance of measuring student growth vs. student proficiency (though that’s true). It’s also because we understand that, as with all policy endeavors, this one amounts to a series of trade-offs. Perhaps there are some “wrong” answers (such as relying exclusively on proficiency rates in reading and math to judge school quality, or measuring school spending and other inputs and calling it accountability) but mostly there are a whole bunch of right and partially-right answers, depending on policymakers’ goals and states’ idiosyncrasies. That’s why, nine months ago, when we hosted our ESSA Accountability Design Competition, we intentionally decided not to declare a “winner.”(more)

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