With the era of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) likely in its waning days, a transition toward more state and local control in education seems likely. The elimination of the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) system appears imminent: it is effectively outdated with the Obama administration’s NCLB waiver program, and the reauthorization bills floating through Congress would officially discard AYP.
That would leave the responsibility for accountability firmly in the states’ hands. With these issues in mind, the conservative Thomas B. Fordham Institute released a paper this week outlining its thoughts on how states can craft effective accountability systems.
The paper was based in part on interviews with education officials in seven states: California, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Massachusetts, Ohio and Texas. The states were chosen for "their strong history of education reform," according to the paper.
While framing the paper as a "pilot study" that would require further analysis as states begin to implement their own systems, the authors concluded that successful accountability systems would have six characteristics regarding the adoption and assessment of clear standards and providing incentives and consequences to encourage improvement at the student, teacher and school levels.
The full paper is below.