Education Sector’s Explainer series unpacks key school accountability issues!
Current education news and debates all seem to revolve around the federal No Child Left Behind Act and school accountability. Education Sector’s Explainer Series will help you make sense of these confusing education policy issues.
Education Sector’s Explainer series gives lay readers insights into important aspects of education policymaking. Explainers are designed to bring clarity to key, but complex, concepts and terms within the education landscape that often are misunderstood by the public. They are straightforward, cut-through-the-jargon guides that can be used alone, or as a reference when reading education news stories or research on related topics.
Recent Explainers have focused on deciphering some of NCLB’s fundamental features including how states set “cut scores” on their tests, what it means for states to make “adequate yearly progress” under the federal law, and how the controversial National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) works.
Read, reference, and share these Education Sector Explainers:
Passing or “cut” scores are a key factor in determining the rigor of state tests, which matter more than ever before under the federal No Child Left Behind Act. Yet, when states and the media report student results on exams, they rarely include information on passing scores or the process by which they are determined. This Explainer describes how states set cut scores and why they matter.
Under NCLB, states must set performance targets for schools to meet, known as “adequate yearly progress,” or “AYP.” And those schools that do not meet these goals or “make” AYP face considerable consequences. But what does it really mean for a school to make AYP? This Explainer describes how NCLB’s complex accountability system works overall and in different states and discusses the basics of “making” AYP and the multiple routes schools can take to get there.
The National Assessment of Educational Progress is one of the most trusted resources for comparing student achievement across states and demographic groups. But it is also one of the most complex tests in existence, leading to difficulty in interpreting and reporting its results. This Explainer is a guide to understanding NAEP’s complex features and the challenges ahead for the test in an era of increased accountability.
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