With the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) replacing No Child Left Behind as the new federal education law, states have gained greater freedom to personalize their education policies. ESSA’s promise of decentralization is a victory for state education leaders, but also transfers to them the responsibility of ensuring that school systems are held accountable. During the 2016-17 school year, states will be required to create accountability metrics and design review systems by which to assess their schools. How should states prepare for this enormous task?
On July 27, Governance Studies at Brookings hosted a discussion featuring former Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and state education leaders concerning the future of accountability under ESSA. Questions they explored included: What can states do to alleviate the tension of this policy transition? How is this transition similar to or different from past education reforms, and what lessons can be learned from those past efforts? And most importantly, what models of accountability will best serve students, teachers, and school systems?