In 2007, the Massachusetts Legislature decided to phase out the Office of Educational Quality and Accountability (EQA). Legislators and policymakers began exploring options for establishing a new accountability function for the Commonwealth's school districts.
Accountability, one of the key components of standards-based education reform, is intended to spur academic achievement for all students by applying pressure and consequences to public schools and school districts. Aligned with the accountability provisions envisioned in the Massachusetts Education Reform Act (MERA) of 1993, the Office of Educational Quality and Accountability (EQA) was created by the Legislature in 2000 to provide an "independent mechanism to verify the efforts of school districts and charter schools in order to promote higher levels of academic achievement by students." However, EQA has faced steady criticism about the ways in which it has operated, and policymakers are determining a new way to perform the district accountability function.
The Rennie Center's policy brief, entitled Post-EQA Accountability: A Menu of Policy Options, is intended to inform policy discussions focused on the creation of a new accountability function in Massachusetts. This brief includes case examples of accountability models from four other states -- New Jersey, Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, and three countries -- England, New Zealand and Singapore.