"Rethinking School Accountability for California"
With new achievement tests and new legislation at both the state and federal levels, California now has an extraordinary opportunity to rethink school accountability. This calls for a concise set of multiple measures reflecting different aspects of school performance, going beyond a narrow focus on test scores alone, with complementary indicators defined at the state level versus locally. Designing the best possible system will require careful attention to the “logic models” or “theories of action” whereby the accountability system is expected to lead to improvements in student learning. It will also require analysis of potential unintended consequences as actors within the system adapt to new rules and expectations.
Edward Haertel is Jacks Family Professor of Education, Emeritus, at Stanford University. His research centers on policy uses of achievement tests, validity arguments for high-stakes testing, the logic and implementation of standard setting methods, trend comparisons across tests, and the examination of value-added models for teacher evaluation from a psychometric perspective.