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With ‘Blame and Shame’ Accountability Behind Us, What Will Take Its Place?

One of the most important and welcomed provisions of the Every Student Succeed Act (ESSA) is the removal of so-called adequate yearly progress – the federal mandate that came to symbolize everything that was wrong with the way No Child Left Behind defined and measured accountability. AYP imposed rigid and narrow measures for school improvement, improperly labeling many schools as low-performing and imposing punishment when they were unable to meet the unrealistic expectations for proficiency.

What eventually will replace it is difficult to predict because ESSA gives individual states the flexibility to design new accountability systems. While all stakeholders want to move implementation forward – schools and students, after all, are not sitting back and waiting for this process to play itself out – everyone wants to get it done right.  And that takes time.