Performance-Driven Accountability Policies and Achievement Outcomes
This chapter addresses the question of high-stakes testing policy and accountability. How effective are performance-driven educational policies under the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act? What interventions are most cost-effective for disadvantaged minority students? The average effect size of high-stakes testing interventions is modest, and there is no consistent evidence on narrowing achievement gaps among racial and social groups. The discrepancy of student progress between National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and state assessment measures is noted. School choice policies, including vouchers and charter schools, have had limited effects on system-wide education improvement, and performance-driven policy could become more effective when properly combined with input-driven policy. The Common Core Standards can induce desirable changes in American schools through narrower, higher, and deeper curricular coverage in core subjects, but with negative results if states continue to operate under NCLB and without adequate funding and technical support for chronically low-performing schools.
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