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ERIC Number: ED566660
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Oct
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Making Sure All Children Matter: Getting School Accountability Signals Right. Waivers in Brief
Ushomirsky, Natasha; Williams, David; Hall, Daria
Education Trust
School accountability systems have the potential to be a powerful tool to help close the long-standing gaps in achievement that separate low-income students and students of color from their peers. They can do this by: (1) Setting a clear expectation that schools have to serve all of their students--not just some--well; (2) Drawing attention to how schools are performing for all student groups; and (3) Prompting action when schools don't meet expectations for a group of students. A key way that an accountability system signals its expectations is through the ratings it assigns to schools. To better understand the signals that accountability systems are currently sending about group outcomes, the authors analyzed student performance data from three states--Florida, Kentucky, and Minnesota. For each state, they asked, "How are schools that earn the highest accountability rating, as well as lower ratings, performing for all students? How about for low-income students and students of color?" In each state, schools are getting top ratings despite low performance for some groups. In fact, the differences are so large that top-rated schools often perform similarly for their students of color and low-income students as middle- to low-rated schools do for their white and higher income peers. These findings make clear that the signals that school ratings send about group performance are not strong enough to prompt wide-scale attention to and action around gap closing. Despite advances in some areas of school accountability, when it comes to increasing equity in this nation's education system, today's accountability systems still represent, at best, a missed opportunity. Two appendices are included: (1) Data Sources and Relevant Data Notes for Figures 1-6; and (2) Numbers of schools included in Figures 1-5.
Education Trust. 1250 H Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 202-293-1217; Fax: 202-293-2605; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Florida; Kentucky; Minnesota