Establishing Principles for Accountability

Perspectives from small-to-midsize urban districts and their allies

Published Date : September 23, 2016
Sponsors :The Boston Foundation

The Next Generation Accountability Learning Community (NGALC) is a group of roughly two dozen New England education leaders who have come together to look at the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) from the perspective of small-to-midsize urban districts. Members of the NGALC gathered twice this summer to hear from experts and exchange ideas on this question: how do states and districts revise their accountability policies and practices in ways that will lead to improved student outcomes in these urban communities?

This paper lays out three sets of ideas to support local and state leaders in their efforts to ensure the success of accountability work in small-to-midsize urban districts:

1. A set of core purpose principles to clarify what accountability systems should do, why they matter, and how to honor their critical roles.

2. A set of design principles for states as they take on the job of developing the new statewide accountability systems that ESSA mandates and that states and their stakeholders envision.

3. A set of design principles for local districts, outlining how local systems, with the right supports from states and other allies, can begin to exercise leadership in shaping and spearheading accountability systems and practices.

NGALC project staff have developed these principles by drawing on the diverse range of ideas generated during Learning Community conversations, and by studying DISPATCHES from the Next Generation Accountability Learning Community for Small-to-Midsize Urban Districts 2 the research that the Learning Community has tapped over the past four months.

Meet The Authors

Ben Forman

Research Director, MassINC

Alexia Lipman

Research Intern, MassINC

Andrew Bundy

Partner, Community Matters

Ryan Reyna

Senior Associate, Education Strategy Group

Lainy Fersh

Partner, Community Matters

Karla Baehr

District Facilitator, Massachusetts Education Partnership (MEP)

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