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RAND Examines NCLB's Impact in Three States

In a new report based on five years of research, RAND Corporation considers standards-based accountability in three very different states—California, Georgia, and Pennsylvania. Educators' views of standards-based accountability were "mixed"—they liked the idea, but not always the reality, RAND said. The report also lays out educators' recommendations for improving the accountability provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act, including finding better methods for measuring school and student performance. One area of agreement across state lines: school improvement. RAND said that, despite differences in accountability systems, superintendents "generally ranked three activities as most important: aligning curriculum with state standards and assessments, using data for decision-making, and providing extra support to low-performing students."

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