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ERIC Number: EJ1087556
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Jan
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1540-8000
Accountability for What Matters
Rothman, Robert
State Education Standard, v16 n1 p10-13 Jan 2016
For more than a decade, states have evaluated school performance largely through a single measure--test scores--and rated schools on whether they improved students' performance in reading or math. The idea was to focus schools' attention on the outcomes that mattered most and to focus states' attention on the schools that needed the most help in raising those outcomes. Recently, though, that idea has come into question, and measures of school performance are getting a new look. With their new-found authority under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), states will be using a broader range of indicators of school performance and displaying them in ways that give school communities, parents, and district and state officials a clearer picture of how a school actually is doing. These new systems, often called "data dashboards," function the way a car's dashboard does--by displaying multiple measures that affect how a school is performing. This collection of information enables educators to monitor their school's overall performance while simultaneously identifying specific problems, allowing them to focus resources toward individual needs and address all of the issues that affect school performance. Just as a driver will fill up his tank before the gas gauge turns to "E" to keep the car operating effectively, a school using a data dashboard can work on improving, say, school climate before it affects how well students learn. At the same time, states are using dashboards to shift the focus of accountability from zooming in on low performance to developing a system of continuous improvement. A driver would never look at the E on a gas gauge and say that his car is failing. State-level dashboards are relatively new, but education systems in other countries as well as a number of local US school districts have used dashboard-type systems for some time. This article will describe some of the issues involved in establishing dashboard systems, using examples from existing systems.
National Association of State Boards of Education. 2121 Crystal Drive Suite 350, Arlington, VA 22202. Tel: 800-368-5023; Tel: 703-684-4000; Fax: 703-836-2313; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California; Canada; Georgia; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A