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A Think Twice Review of:

Review of: Making Next Year Count: Equity in School Accountability

Think Twice - Oct 15, 2020

Publisher/Think Tank - Bellwether Education Partners

Author(s) - Alex Spurrier, Chad Aldeman, Jennifer O'Neal Schiess, and Andrew J. Rotherham

The series correctly concludes that state accountability systems have not improved student achievement or closed achievement gaps over the last decade. Despite this conclusion, however, the series puzzlingly insists that state testing and accountability systems must be reinstated in 2020-21 and must focus on schools with the lowest performance levels.

Reviewer(s) - Edward J. Fuller, Penn State University

Professor Fuller pointed out that underlying this conclusion was the reports’ failure to adequately review the existing literature. As a result, the reports overstate some research conclusions and ignore a large body of research about factors that influence student outcomes. Specifically, the reports do not acknowledge the critical need for access to quality educators and fiscal resources, which are foundational to any serious effort to improve student outcomes. Moreover, the reports focus very narrowly on test scores as the primary outcome of schooling and ignore outcomes such as critical thinking, media literacy, and civics that are more important than ever.