Accountability for College and Career Readiness: Developing a New Paradigm

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Abstract

As schools across the country prepare for new standards under the Common Core, states are moving toward creating more aligned systems of assessment and accountability. This paper recommends an accountability approach that focuses on meaningful learning, enabled by professionally skilled and committed educators, and supported by adequate and appropriate resources, so that all students regardless of background are prepared for both college and career when they graduate from high school. Drawing on practices already established in other states and on the views of policymakers and school experts, this paper proposes principles for effective accountability systems and imagines what a new accountability system could look like in an imagined “51st state” in the United States. While considerable discussion and debate will be needed before a new approach can take shape, this paper’s objective is to get the conversation started so the nation can meet its aspirations for preparing college- and career-ready students. 

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How to Cite
Darling-Hammond, L., Wilhoit, G., & Pittenger, L. (2014). Accountability for College and Career Readiness: Developing a New Paradigm. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 22, 86. https://doi.org/10.14507/epaa.v22n86.2014
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Author Biographies

Linda Darling-Hammond, Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education

Linda Darling-Hammond is Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education at Stanford University, where she is faculty director of the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education. She is a former president of the American Educational Research Association and member of the National Academy of Education and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Her research and policy work focus on issues of educational equity, teaching quality, and school reform. In 2008, she served as director of President Obama's education policy transition team. Her book, The Flat World and Education: How America’s Commitment to Equity will Determine our Future, received the coveted Grawemeyer Award in 2012. Her most recent book is Beyond the Bubble Test: How Performance Assessments Support 21st Century Learning (2014). 

Gene Wilhoit, National Center for Innovation in Education

Gene Wilhoit is Director of the National Center for Innovation in Education at the University of Kentucky. Wilhoit most recently spent 6 years as director of the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) in Washington, D.C., where he led the development and adoption by 45 states of the Common Core State Standards. Wilhoit was also Kentucky's education commissioner and an ex-officio member of the Council on Postsecondary Education. 

Linda Pittenger, National Center for Innovation in Education

Linda Pittenger is chief operating officer for the Center for Innovation in Education at the University of Kentucky. Pittenger most recently spent 5 years at the Council of Chief State School Officers, where she last served as strategic initiative director for the Innovation Lab Network. Previously, Pittenger served in the Kentucky Department of Education as director of secondary and virtual learning. 

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