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date: 14 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter summarizes the history and effects of standards-based school accountability in the United States and offers suggestions for accountability policy moving forward. It analyzes standards-based accountability in both the No Child Left Behind Act and the Every Student Succeeds Act, and discusses the effects of accountability systems. The authors argue that school accountability systems can improve student achievement, but that unintended consequences are possible. How accountability systems are designed—the metrics and measures used and the consequences for performance—has both symbolic and practical implications for the efficacy of the system and the individuals affected. Synthesizing what is known about the design of school accountability systems, the authors propose policy choices that can improve the validity, reliability, transparency, and fairness of these systems.

Keywords: policy, accountability, standards, achievement, unintended consequences, systems, No Child Left Behind Act, Every Student Succeeds Act

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