Next Generation Accountability: Creating Performance Frameworks for Student Success

A new issue brief from Aurora Institute explores how policymakers can approach rethinking, redesigning, and rearchitecting next generation accountability systems.

Next generation accountability systems can empower states, districts, communities, and schools with timely, relevant information and provide the capacity to analyze and continuously improve instruction and learning.

Continuously improving education systems use evidence-based practices and performance frameworks to improve learning and monitor progress in real time. In response to ongoing feedback and data, they drive change to improve and evolve practice. Continuously improving systems evolve culture and structures to ensure that students get the supports they need in real time to support growth and success.

Policy recommendations include:

  • Create flexibility and enabling policy to allow for new accountability systems with room for prototyping, piloting and incubating next generation accountability models. 
  • Rethink measurement systems to more effectively evaluate school quality through performance frameworks and new metrics. 
  • Engage states and communities to design new reciprocal accountability systems with permission to re-examine the purpose of schooling and rethink accountability. 
  • Allow for a learning agenda with research and development (R&D) to plan, develop, and pilot next generation accountability models. 
  • Be flexible to allow for new metrics, frameworks, and concepts for quality assurance in evaluation. 
  • Launch investments to build capacity to modernize accountability and evaluate school quality using reciprocal accountability and results-based performance frameworks. 
  • Focus on accountability that provides coherence for education systems at all levels, emphasizing learning and continuous improvement, aligning to learning sciences research, advancing student-centered learning, and building trust.

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