School Accountability and the Infinite Information Problem

We should recognize the government’s limited ability to collect, analyze, and make use of the extraordinary amount of information relevant to school quality and family preferences.

In the News: Many State Report Cards Leave Parents in the Dark About School Achievement

A new study by the Data Quality Campaign reviews school report cards issued by each state and finds many of them lacking.

Graduation Rates: What Does a Diploma Tell Us?

As policymakers reconsider the “college for all” mindset, they face tough questions about what a high school diploma should mean and how best to ensure that every young adult has the chance to build a professional future that’s honored, fruitful, and rewarding.

How States Should Redesign Their Accountability Systems Under ESSA

States are now putting pen to paper on their accountability plans and many of them want advice about what to do.

Evidence for the Disconnect Between Changing Test Scores and Changing Later Life Outcomes

Over-relying on test scores and declaring with confidence that we know what works and what doesn’t can lead to big policy mistakes.

The Strange Case of the Disappearing NAEP

Why has NAEP abandoned its foundational assessment and embarked on a new agenda?

School Accountability Systems Must Focus on Proficiency

A school’s results matter in the real world, more even than the gains its students made while enrolled there.

Stop Focusing on Proficiency Rates When Evaluating Schools

States should use proficiency rates cautiously because of their correlation with student demographics and prior achievement—factors that are outside of schools’ control.

Wells Fargo and the Atlanta Schools Testing Scandal

Wells Fargo is learning a hard and correct lesson—that performance incentives need to be realistic, that results must be checked, and that managers must question rosy results.

New York’s Reading Standards Rewrite Should Alarm Parents

Students who learn to work with complex texts during their K–12 years can handle the demands of college reading. Those who haven’t cannot.

ESSA Didn’t Settle Federal Education Policy. Far From It.

Our next President will be forced to make a number of important education policy decisions almost immediately upon taking office.

California’s Too-Colorful Accountability Plan

California’s new accountability system for schools and districts is complicated beyond imagining and does not lend itself to useful interpretation by parents, taxpayers, voters, or policymakers.

Summative Ratings Are All Around Us. Why Are We Afraid of Them in K-12 Education?

Cars, colleges, neighborhoods, restaurants, you name it — if there’s some sort of choice that people can make, there’s probably a rating system to help them decide.

Can High Standards and Accountability Co-Exist? Lessons From the Common Core Assessment Consortia

It’s easy for policymakers and the public to embrace high standards in principle. But when policymakers seek to hold students, teachers, and schools accountable for those standards by using the results from aligned assessments, support is far more likely to falter.

How Chartering Makes Possible An Entirely New Approach to Accountability

The leadership of an urban district should ask state policy makers for permission to apply charter-type accountability to all schools in the district.

A Scholarly Approach to School Accountability

States now enjoy a freer hand to decide how they want to rate their schools. What should they do?

The NAEP Proficiency Myth

NAEP proficient is not synonymous with grade level. It is a standard set much higher than that.

The Value of NAEP Achievement Levels

NAEP’s achievement levels, especially “proficient,” do expect a lot from American schools and students, but proficiency in twelfth-grade reading on NAEP equates pretty closely to college readiness.

Testing College Readiness

Massachusetts compares the validity of two standardized tests

Massachusetts compares the validity of two standardized tests

How To Create Accountability Systems that Build Knowledge and Increase Reading Ability

Accountability plans must ensure that every student gets the broad knowledge and vocabulary that remain the unacknowledged drivers of language proficiency

Can Higher Standards Survive?

Does the political will exist to maintain higher standards? And does the capacity exist in K–12 education to raise significant numbers of American children to meet these standards?

How To Fix Reading in the Era of ESSA

Substantial gains in decoding have shown we can get kids to the starting line. But we’re leaving them stuck there.

How Should States Measure School Success?

Most of today’s K–12 accountability systems are, themselves, persistently underperforming.

Should NAEP Tests Be Updated to Reflect What’s in the Common Core?

It’s critical that NAEP’s math (and reading and writing) frameworks not flex with recent changes in standards, curriculum or pedagogical emphasis.

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