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Vol. 45, No. 44

June 20, 2011

State Education Chiefs Take Lead on Accountability

A nationwide group of state education officials announced Monday they have endorsed a set of guiding principles for the next generation of accountability systems.  Missouri is one of 41 states that has agreed to work together to dramatically improve state accountability systems for public education.

The Next Generation Accountability Taskforce, convened by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), developed The Principles for State Leadership on Next-Generation Accountability Systems (Principles) and Roadmap.

According to CCSSO, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization of chief state education officials, the principles provide a clear and unified sentiment for Congress to update and reauthorize federal accountability standards.

Missouri Commissioner of Education Chris L. Nicastro believes the principles will be key to ensuring that every student has access to an education that prepares them for success in college and careers.

“States have the responsibility and the desire to design accountability systems that lead to increased student achievement,” Nicastro said.  “As we move forward, I believe these principles can serve as an important guidepost for the next reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.  We urge Congress to act soon.”

Earlier this year, CCSSO released a letter asking Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and leaders in Congress to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) in a manner that advances bold state leadership, or to support state reform efforts aligned with the guiding principles if reauthorization is delayed.

Missouri and other states have continued to lead efforts to support improved student achievement, including the development and adoption of better academic standards, improved assessment systems and enhanced data systems.

Each state’s accountability system will be based on a shared set of principles, but each state will determine the details of its own system.