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State Chiefs' Group Pushes for College and Career Accountability Indicator

Last fall, many state education department officials began describing some of the biggest hurdles to complying with the Every Student Succeeds Act's requirement that states adopt a new indicator of school quality for their state accountability system aside from traditional measures such as standardized test scores. 

To the public, changing states' accountability systems was a key area to broaden what school officials paid attention to in the classroom. During hours-long listening sessions, parents, teachers, and education advocates suggested that states adopt indicators such as school climate, discipline, and chronic absenteeism. 

But, for many states, adding that new indicator may mean spending more on data systems and collection, avoiding approaches that might demand too much of a data lift, or picking something off the shelf rather than crafting a more challenging indicator, because the information isn't easily available.

I wrote about the challenge here.  

One of the areas that stakeholders continue to say they want to see in their accountability system is an indicator that measures career and college readiness. But state officials are struggling to find a way to measure such an indicator.  

The Council of Chief State School Officers and the Education Strategy Group, a consulting group, released guidelines for states attempting to include the measure in their systems and posted some online resources for state officials. 

"Valuing college- and career-readiness in a states' accountability system is one way to elevate the skills and knowledge they need to pursue high-skill, high-paying careers after high school," said Chris Minnich, the executive director of CCSSO in a release.

The two organizations are encouraging states to explore using their data systems to measure progress toward a post-high school credential, co-curricular learning and leadership experiences, assessment of readiness, and transitions beyond high school.  

"States are at different starting points in their ability to collect, report, and use data in the four measurement areas," according to the report. "Regardless of the starting point, all states can use this report to move their accountability system forward to deeply value college and career readiness for all kids."  

Read the entire report here

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