College- and Career-Ready Accountability

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States should refocus their accountability systems around the expectation that all students will graduate from high school ready for postsecondary pursuits and the workforce. 

Picture of a student using a laptop.

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.