Quality Counts 2016 Examines Path Toward Accountability

In the Quality Counts 2016 report, Education Week has given the United States an overall C grade. Massachusetts received the highest marks with a B+ overall - one of only 11 states to receive a grade higher than a C+. (Massachusetts is the only state with an A- on the chance to succeed index as well.) As noted in the analysis this year, the biggest issue facing states and schools is accountability, especially as ESSA reduces the federal footprint.

“After a decade and a half of strong federal influence over school accountability, the states are poised to take the helm again and chart their own course. This promises to be a period of great innovation and opportunity, but also one of considerable uncertainty and divergence, when states may take very different paths forward,” said Christopher B. Swanson, Vice President of Editorial Projects in Education, the nonprofit organization that publishes Education Week, in a press release.

Tracing the rise of NCLB and the effect it had on accountability, a special report from Education Week looks at how federal law has influenced assessing student progress and what could happen now that states can set their own benchmarks. Education Week suggests the main questions facing states and districts are “What should students be expected to learn, how should we measure what they've learned, and what should be the consequences when they don't achieve as expected?”

Read more from Quality Counts 2016 from Education Week.

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Assessment and Accountability