Fall 2012

Accountability Needed Today for Success Tomorrow

CEO Message: Who is Accountable for Student Success?

CEO Message

When discussing education today, it’s difficult to escape the topic of accountability. Educators and legislators alike have perspectives and priorities regarding accountability – from how to change the current system, to teacher evaluations, to measuring student achievement and to who is accountable when a school fails to meet the educational needs of students.

When discussing education today, it’s difficult to escape the topic of accountability. Educators and legislators alike have perspectives and priorities regarding accountability – from how to change the current system, to teacher evaluations, to measuring student achievement and to who is accountable when a school fails to meet the educational needs of students.

What do we want from our future accountability systems? We certainly want them to result in improvement and effectiveness. We want accountability systems to use information and data, expand beyond a single test, be transparent and include monitoring. Also, accountability systems must include diagnostic review. Diagnostic review is a causal analysis that can highlight problems early and lead to targeted interventions. Diagnostic review is included in the key principles of next generation accountability proposed by the Council of Chief State School Officers and is part of the ESEA reauthorization bill passed by the Senate HELP committee in October 2011.

Most importantly, the accountability systems of today that focus on the institution and the teacher’s effectiveness to improve student learning must transform to a learner-centric approach in the future. As students continue to expand and diversify their learning ecology to include multiple education providers, we must create an accountability system that measures, analyzes, and improves learning for every student in a customized and personalized manner. Current diagnostic review practices must move from the system and school level to the individual student level and provide a root cause analysis that informs and enables every provider to enact targeted strategies specific and unique to each learner. Our current accountability systems continue to challenge our ability to realize our desired expectations for student learning. However, with continued efforts to increase and improve our capacity to create and sustain an aligned accountability system that is learner-centric, we will meet the challenge of improving learning for every student.

This issue of AdvancED Source, with a theme of Accountability Needed Today for Success Tomorrow, explores many perspectives regarding accountability – from a high school principal, a state superintendent, a research organization, a district administrator and even a student. We have arrived at, as author Art Coleman, managing partner and co-founder of EducationCounsel, shares, “a pivotal moment of transition and transformation in education policy and practice” in his article Key Trends and Implications for Elementary and Secondary Educators and Policy Makers.

Authors Dr. Ellen Behrstock-Sherratt and Dr. Sabrina Lane of the American Institutes of Research explore teacher effectiveness and evaluation in their article, Strengthening Teacher Evaluation in the Age of Accountability. Take a look at their measures of teacher effectiveness.While private schools do not need to meet many of the same state requirements of public schools, they are accountable to those who elect to pay for their children’s education. Dr. Derek Keenan, vice president for academic affairs at the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI), outlines the accountability challenges facing private schools in his article, Reputation, Reenrollment, Results.

Kentucky Commissioner of Education Dr. Terry Holliday and Interim Associate Commissioner Susan Allred in their piece, How States Can Meet the Challenge of College and Career Readiness, share some of their latest work on state accountability systems. Authors Dr. Sharon Riley Ordu, director of an early college high school and founder and CEO of ETLL Consulting, and Dr. P. Augustine Ordu, a full professor and Chief Operating Officer and Managing Associate of ETLL Consulting, explore the Seven Levels of Accountability for Student Success.

In Surviving the New Age of Accountability, Jacquelyn A. Jacobson, principal of Wickenburg High School, provides a humorous, and serious, look at the challenges facing building administrators as they implement new accountability requirements. Matteson School District leaders, Dr. Blondean Davis and Dr. Brian Ali, examine who should be held accountable for student learning in their article, Student Learning is our Work.

AdvancED Source is fortunate to have received an article from Minnesota New Country School student, Ally Kroehler. In her piece, Holding Students Accountable, she asserts that students must be accountable for themselves and their future. Our issue wraps up with Promoting and Supporting a Data-to-Action, Results-Oriented Culture within Durham Public Schools. School system leaders, Dr. Brent Cooper and Dr. Terri Mozingo, along with Dr. Dustin Johnson, Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership at High Point University, describe Durham’s new accountability approach and implementation.

With the focus on accountability only increasing, we appreciate our authors sharing their experiences and expertise as we explore Accountability Needed Today for Success Tomorrow.

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