Toward Alternative Accountability Models for Schools

From the Lowell Sun:

A consortium of public-school districts across the state, including Lowell, are teaming up to create an alternative accountability system that grades public schools beyond the basis of test scores.

The Massachusetts Consortium for Innovative Education Assessment includes nine districts that will help develop a different kind of assessment — one that includes multiple measurements of student progress and school quality.

According to the story, the new model will include multiple measures of success including project-based assessment and an analysis of social emotional learning:

One will provide performance-based tasks to measure student improvement, which will be field-tested and based on the state’s current curriculum frameworks.

Another will measure school quality based on academic, social-emotional and school culture factors.

Districts will still take the state’s annual required standardized testing, which next year will be the new “MCAS 2.0″ test.

The plan has won approval from all participating superintendents and teachers’ union presidents, who will serve on the group’s governing board.

This consortium is another example of school systems moving beyond test-based accountability to include a more comprehensive look at what’s happening at schools. Such models still include test results but also recognize that a school’s performance is more than a single year’s test scores.


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