October 15, 2015

By Robert Rothman

This week, officials from about a dozen states are gathering in Milwaukee for the annual meeting of the Innovation Lab Network (ILN). The ILN is a group of states, formed by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), that are developing new approaches to policy to support innovative methods of schooling intended to support deeper learning outcomes. (The ILN and its director, Jennifer Davis Poon of CCSSO, are regular contributors to this blog. See here and here, for example.)
One issue on the agenda is accountability. Educators have long recognized that current accountability systems, which generally measure school performance solely on the basis of end-of-year reading and mathematics tests, are impediments to innovation because they create incentives to focus on a relatively narrow set of knowledge and skills. Moreover, such systems provide little information to enable school communities to examine practices and improve their own capacity to raise the level of student learning.

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