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Laura Jimenez, Director of Standards and Accountability for K-12 Education, and the Center for American Progress dig into the question for answers we can all use. See article highlights below:

  • Today’s school accountability systems are the primary tool education leaders use to gauge how they are doing.
  • They measure and transparently reporting students’ yearly outcomes in academics and other areas.
  • When schools do not meet benchmarks, states require that they take action to improve.
  • However, this system of accountability fails to include meaningful metrics.
  • Center for American Progress conducted community conversations with caregivers, educators, school administrators, and other school stakeholders, including families of color, to learn what information was most important to them. Here is what they found:
    • Parents and caregivers want data on students’ opportunity to learn; access to high-quality curriculum, instruction, and programs; supportive school and classroom environments; highly effective educators; student supports; class sizes; access to technology; supports and services available to students, especially students with disabilities; school climate data (valuing diversity, social-emotional learning, and students’ sense of safety); student demographic group data; and opportunities to provide caregiver input/feedback.
    • District and school staff found state performance data useful to inform school boards, compare school performance, and identify trends over time, but not for guiding their daily actions to support student learning. District and school staff want timely information that includes individual student responses on state assessments, student readiness data, and nonacademic data on students to improve the quality of teaching and learning in schools. District and school staff want school systems to integrate more nonacademic data into the teaching and learning process, such as: attendance, students’ critical thinking, mindset, social-emotional well-being, and interests.
  • Community-centered policy development exploration revealed that policies are too often made without the input of the individuals they directly affect. Policies need community input because community members are most likely to know how they will unfold in practice.
  • Conclusions include:
    • State-level accountability systems play an important role in K-12 education.
    • The data provided from state accountability systems are the primary tools policymakers use to determine the education system’s health and measure educational equity. However, state accountability systems do not provide all the necessary information that caregivers, educators, and other school stakeholders need to guide their daily actions to support student learning.
    • School systems also need to collect and distribute data that are useful to the purpose of daily teaching and learning guided by families, educators, and school leaders.
    • Caregivers, educators, and school leaders each have their own set of informational needs and ways it uses data to support students and they are hungry for information to help inform their decision-making and improve the quality of education children receive.

Full article here:

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