NEPC Review: Making Next Year Count: Equity in School Accountability (Bellwether Education Partners, Summer 2020) (Bellwether Education Partners , )
Bellwether Education Partners’ four-part series on accountability reviews the historical roots, theory of change, and impact on student outcomes of school accountability systems, as well as the effect of COVID-related school closures on testing and accountability. The series notes that state accountability systems have not improved student achievement or closed achievement gaps over the last decade. Despite this conclusion, the series insists state testing and accountability systems must be reinstated in 2020-21 and must focus on schools with the lowest performance levels. In addition to this perplexing inconsistency, the reports are problematic for a number of reasons. Policymakers are advised to ignore this series and access more nuanced reviews and recommendations regarding school accountability in the coming years.