In recent years, all 50 states have embarked on education initiatives related to high standards and challenging content. A central focus of these efforts has been the establishment of a common set of academic standards for all students, the assessments that measure student performance, and accountability systems that are at least partially focused on student outcomes. This CPRE Policy Brief summarizes a longer report about state assessment and accountability systems in all 50 states and examines the extent to which state policies meet the intent of federal policy, particularly Title I. We focused on the following questions:
How are states measuring student performance and reporting it to the general public?
How are states holding schools, school districts, and students accountable for student outcomes?
How aligned are accountability policies for Title I and non-Title I schools?
How are states assisting low-performing schools?
What challenges do the federal government and the states face in designing effective and equitable accountability and improvement systems?
The study was based on information drawn from a 50-state survey of state assessment and accountability systems conducted by CPRE between February and June 2000.