State Systems of Identification and Support under ESSA: Evaluating Identification Methods and Results in an Accountability System

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This paper is the second in a series of two discussing systems of school identification and support under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). This paper focuses on both technical and policy considerations for states in evaluating the success of their identification and accountability systems under ESSA. In an effort to inform readers on evaluating accountability systems, it describes considerations and methods to (1) evaluate the reliability of accountability scores and performance designations—including those schools identified for support and improvement, (2) evaluate the utility and impact of accountability systems in general and school identification systems in particular, and (3) evaluate the link between local behaviors and outcome improvement driven by accountability. This paper is intended to supplement the first in this series, State Systems of Identification and Support under ESSA: A focus on designing and revising systems of school identification (Lyons, D’Brot, & Landl, 2017). The first paper provides a comprehensive overview of the federal law and key design considerations for states as they develop and revise their systems of school identification under ESSA.

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