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Accountability Systems

CCSSO commits to further states' proactive leadership in promoting college- and career-readiness for all students by establishing next-generation accountability systems. Several years ago chief state school officers and other representatives from state education agencies came together to develop a set of guiding principles for what a next-generation accountability system should include. The ultimate goal of these new systems is to ensure that every student has access to a high-quality education. States will achieve this goal by (1) driving school and district performance towards college- and career-readiness, (2) distinguishing performance in order to more meaningfully target supports and interventions to the students most in need, (3) providing timely, transparent data to spur action at all levels, and (4) fostering innovation and continuous improvement throughout the system.

In November 2015, CCSSO reaffirmed the commitment of states to design more advanced accountability systems that better meet the needs of all students. CCSSO released States' Continued Commitment to Next-Generation Accountability Systems which outlines the principles  and includes examples of states that have utilized these principles in their state accountability systems. 

The Every Student Succeeds (ESSA)

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was signed into law by President Obama on December 10, 2015. For more information and resources on ESSA please visit CCSSO's Every Student Succeeds Act resource page. 

State ESEA Flexibility: Waivers

On Friday, September 23, 2011, President Obama released the details of the Administration's ESEA flexibility package, which responded to calls from state education leaders to move beyond current No Child Left Behind (NCLB) requirements and support state efforts to prepare every child for college and career. The flexibility package is based, in part, on the guiding principles developed by the chiefs. State ESEA flexibility requests address transitioning students, teachers, and schools to a system aligned with college- and career-ready standards for all students, developing differentiated accountability systems, and undertaking reforms to support effective classroom instruction and school leadership. 42 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico operated under ESEA flexibility. These requests expired at the end of the 2014-2015 school year. These states were able to submit requests for a three-year renewal of ESEA flexibility. 

On Tuesday, March 31, 2015, 5 states participated in an accelerated renewal process and received approval for their four-year renewal proposals. These 5 states are Kentucky, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Virginia. Later in 2015, 35 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico received approval for their flexibility waivers. Alabama, Alaska, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, West Virginia, Wisconsin, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico received three-year flexibility renewals while New York and Tennessee received a four-year renewal. Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, and Utah received a one-year extension on their flexibility renewals. Under the Every Student Succeeds Act these flexibility waivers will expire on August 1, 2016.

State Efforts towards Next-Generation Accountability Systems

States have developed next-generation accountability systems that promote college-and career-ready standards, focus on student outcomes, encourage innovation in learning, and emphasize the importance of equity in education. Here are a few examples:

Georgia: College and Career Ready Performance Index

Kentucky: Unbridled Learning 

Massachusetts: The Massachusetts School and District Accountability system

Virginia: Accountability and Virginia Public Schools

Contact:Kirsten Taylor
Contact:Katie Carrollkatie.carroll@ccsso.org202-312-6434