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51st State: Aligned Systems of Assessment and Accountability

What do assessment and accountability systems look like that result in higher levels of learning for all?

In 2014, the Center for Innovation in Education and the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education proposed a new approach to accountability that would be responsive to the imperative to support all students to college, career and civic readiness. The paper, Accountability for College and Career Readiness: Developing a New Paradigm, focuses on how states might construct well-aligned systems for assuring accountability that support genuinely higher and deeper levels of learning for all students. The imagined “51st state” model is supported by three pillars — meaningful learning, adequate resources, and professional capacity — and emphasizes continuous evaluation and improvement. CIE continues to provide guidance and support to states around the country, such as New Hampshire, who are using elements of the 51st state design to build shared understanding of and commitment to new, aligned systems of assessment and accountability.


Today, CIE is helping states look at the rich opportunities created by passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The goal of college and career readiness for all has been codified but, unlike the NCLB era, the authority for making that happen is shifting back to states and districts who have the job of redesigning key elements of the education system. This creates opportunity for innovation and the ability to create new systems for learning from a much more proactive stance, and one that engages community in a much more meaningful ways.

C!E Essential Learning - Accountability
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