Accountability Policies and Measures What We Know and What We Need Accountability Policies and Measures What We Know and What We Need

Susan Brookhart, Ronald Henderson, Susan Brookhart, Ronald Henderson
37906mvpText.indd 2 3/25/09 12:33:06 PM iii The issue of accountability will no doubt play a prominent role in the debate shaping the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. At the National Education Association, we feel the need to reframe the old arguments about accountability by posing critical questions such as: n What do we know from prior research and practice about accountability mechanisms and systems, especially as they relate to student achievement and narrowing
more » ... ement and narrowing the achievement gaps? n What might an ideal accountability system look like? n Are there ways to examine what we have learned over the past eight years and apply those lessons in a manner that supports student and teacher learning? To that end, NEA commissioned a review of the research literature on accountability , particularly the way in which accountability systems have served their intended purpose as a mechanism for improving student achievement. This paper provides a substantive basis for discussing how well accountability systems are meeting this target and offers some alternative ways of thinking about accountability that might move us closer to the goal of enhancing student learning. We hope this review is useful for revisiting ideas and generating new thoughts about accountability and learning. We also hope that this new approach to accountability will influence and inform the ongoing dialogue over new ESEA legislation-and ultimately help us ensure a great public school for every student.