States should refocus their accountability systems around the expectation that all students will graduate from high school ready for postsecondary pursuits and the workforce.
To date, most states have not made college and career readiness the central aim of their accountability systems. With states now leading the way in implementing college- and career-ready standards and assessments and building P-20 data systems, they should embrace a new approach to accountability that makes college and career readiness the central driver, provides the right information to the right people at the right time, and includes a continuum of college- and career-ready indicators to monitor students’ progress over time.
A college- and career-ready accountability system includes, at its core:
- A set of indicators that measure college and career readiness;
- A set of meaningful, ambitious but achievable performance goals on the college- and career-ready indicators;
- A set of incentives and consequences that encourages districts, schools and students to demonstrate improvement on those indicators; and
- A longitudinal data collection and reporting system to track and disseminate progress toward and beyond the state’s readiness expectations.