Sunday, February 25, 2007

Forum on Educational Accountability

Check out the executive summary of the Forum on Educational Accountability. They write: "The Forum on Educational Accountability (FEA) is a working group of some of the national education, civil rights, religious, disability and civic organizations that have endorsed the Joint Organizational Statement on No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. The FEA has prepared the following
report to promote the ideas in the Joint Statement, to provide concrete policy recommendations for
implementing the principles of the Joint Statement, and to contribute to discussions about the
reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The Joint Statement itself has been
signed by more than 100 national organizations."

Here are some of their recommendations:

Recommended chAngeS in nclb
Progress Measurement
1. Replace the law’s arbitrary proficiency targets with ambitious achievement targets based on rates of
success actually achieved by the most effective public schools.
2. Allow states to measure progress by using students’ growth in achievement as well as their perfor-
mance in relation to pre-determined levels of academic proficiency.
3. Ensure that states and school districts regularly report to the government and the public their prog-
ress in implementing systemic changes to enhance educator, family, and community capacity to
improve student learning.
21Redefining Accountability: improving Student learning by building capacity
22 forum on educational Accountability february 2007
4. Provide a comprehensive picture of students’ and schools’ performance by moving from an
overwhelming reliance on standardized tests to using multiple indicators of student achieve-
ment in addition to these tests.
5. Fund research and development of more effective accountability systems that better meet the
goal of high academic achievement for all children.
6. Help states develop assessment systems that include district and school-based measures in
order to provide better, more timely information about student learning.
7. Strengthen enforcement of NCLB provisions requiring that assessments must:
• Be aligned with state content and achievement standards;
• Be used for purposes for which they are valid and reliable;
• Be consistent with nationally recognized professional and technical standards;
• Be of adequate technical quality for each purpose required under the Act;
• Provide multiple, up-to-date measures of student performance including measures that
assess higher order thinking skills and understanding; and
• Provide useful diagnostic information to improve teaching and learning.
8. Decrease the testing burden on states, schools and districts by allowing states to assess stu-
dents annually in selected grades in elementary, middle schools, and high schools.
Building Capacity
9. Ensure changes in teacher and administrator preparation and continuing professional devel-
opment that research evidence and experience indicate improve educational quality and stu-
dent achievement.
10. Enhance state and local capacity to effectively implement the comprehensive changes
required to increase the knowledge and skills of administrators, teachers, families, and com-
munities to support high student achievement.
11. Ensure that improvement plans are allowed sufficient time to take hold before applying sanc-
tions; sanctions should not be applied if they undermine existing effective reform efforts.
12. Replace sanctions that do not have a consistent record of success with interventions that
enable schools to make changes that result in improved student achievement.
13. Raise authorized levels of NCLB funding to cover a substantial percentage of the costs that states and
districts will incur to carry out these recommendations, and fully fund the law at those levels without
reducing expenditures for other education programs.
14. Fully fund Title I to ensure that 100 percent of eligible children are served.


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