Accountability Under ESSA

How States Can Design Systems That Advance Equity and Opportunity

ESSA gives states the flexibility they need to build accountability systems that work for their communities. Here’s how they can get started.

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) gives states new flexibility to deliver on the promise of public education in the way that works best for the communities they serve—especially when it comes to building school accountability systems. These systems are among the most powerful tools at a state chief’s disposal to advance ESSA’s goals of “school quality and student success.” They should embody a state’s vision of a great education and definition of a great school, and help monitor whether it’s becoming a reality for students.

In this working paper, we offer some guiding principles to help state chiefs build an accountability system that reflects voices from across their communities, advances educational equity, and makes a difference for as many students as possible.

Imali Ariyarathne, seventh-grade teacher at Langston Hughes Academy, stands in front of her students while introducing them to the captivating world of science

Imali Ariyarathne, seventh-grade teacher at Langston Hughes Academy, introduces her students to the captivating world of science.

About TNTP

TNTP is the nation’s leading research, policy, and consulting organization dedicated to transforming America’s public education system, so that every generation thrives.

Today, we work side-by-side with educators, system leaders, and communities across 39 states and over 6,000 districts nationwide to reach ambitious goals for student success.

Yet the possibilities we imagine push far beyond the walls of school and the education field alone. We are catalyzing a movement across sectors to create multiple pathways for young people to achieve academic, economic, and social mobility.

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