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Key Elements for Educational Accountability Models in Transition: A Guide for Policymakers

Author(s)Kenneth Klau, William Auty, Pat Roschewski
Publication dateJune 2010
publication pdfKey Elements for Educational Accountability Models in Transition: A Guide for Policymakers

State educational accountability models are in transition. Whether modifying the present accountability system to comply with existing state and federal requirements or anticipating new ones-such as the U.S. Department of Education's (ED) Race to the Top competition-recording the experiences of state education agencies (SEAs) that are currently undergoing transitions is both informative and important. Despite varied contexts, demands, and priorities, states charged with implementing transitions in their accountability models may find the experiences of the Accountability Systems and Reporting (ASR) collaborative member states useful in their own planning.

Defining accountability has become more complex as our understanding of it has grown. In the past, definitions have focused primarily on the interaction of goals, indicators, decision rules, and consequences. Although those components are still central to any accountability model, more recently the focus has expanded to include building capacity and providing appropriate supports. The state experiences described herein reflect the changing purpose of accountability from identifying and punishing ineffective schools and districts to providing appropriate supports and cultivating effectiveness.