Educational Governance & Accountability: Taking the Next Step

Report #191, May 2008

OVERVIEW

In this report, the Commission urges the state to create a new education accountability system that recognizes that the majority of California schools will be identified as failing under the federal No Child Left Behind Act within two years.

During its review, the Commission found that the state’s current intervention approach to lowperforming schools has cost $1.4 billion without meaningful results. The Commission found that the state could more efficiently and effectively use that money, together with redirected funding from categorical programs, by incentivizing districts to create their own turnaround strategies and rewarding them for improving student achievement. The Commission also found that an increase in flexibility must be linked to an increase in accountability.

The Commission recommends recommends combining details of the state Public Schools Accountability Act and the federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) to create a uniform and mandatory accountability system that sets a clear expectation for all students at all schools to reach proficiency or better on California’s academic content standards. The Commission also recommends creating a simpler, more transparent accountability system that goes beyond identifying schools for punishment and instead focuses on their continuous appraisal and improvement to produce college-ready students and highly educated workers for the state’s world-class economy.