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Aurora Institute

Accountability 3.0

Education Domain Blog

Author(s): Susan Patrick

Issue(s): State Policy, Redesign Accountability Systems for Continuous Improvement, Base Learning on Mastery Not Seat Time

A series of posts focused on Student-centered Accountability 3.0 as a requirement for supporting student-centered learning.

(Part 1)

We must redesign the federal accountability system around student-centered learning, not the tyranny of seat-time.

This redesign requires accountability focused and aligned to student learning level and competency education.

  • A new Accountability 3.0 system will focus on student success of high, rigorous standards and close gaps for each and every student.
  • Students and teachers have real-time data every day on where each and every student is in attaining mastery on clearly defined competencies.
  • The focus shifts to formative and performance-based assessments for real-time knowledge and skills, with periodic and more modular “validating” summative systems of assessments.
  • Data is rich and provides a robust picture of student learning along progressions throughout the year, not a blunt instrument indicating a once-a-year shot in the arm for whether a student hits the mark or not, year to year.
  • Accountability 3.0 provides rich data visualization, which would encourage viewing real-time progress on closing achievement gaps through scatter plotting data to more accurately show how each group of students is being served successfully. Note: Today’s once-a-year summative testing alone actually masks the derisive depth of the true achievement gap, in the current model. This is really important to address for achieving equity.
  • Accountability 3.0 should provide students, parents and policymakers with a clear picture of student, classroom, school, district, state and federal progress toward success goals — daily, not just once a year.

Next time: How can “Accountability 3.0” — the next generation of K-12 education accountability at the federal level — do a better job of aligning state accountability as a driver of student-centered learning to provide success for each and every student?