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Accountability and State Oversight

States, along with legislatures, governors, advocacy groups, and citizens, are urging state education agencies to drive changes in K-12 education. The restructuring of work on various fronts, such as supporting struggling schools, raising standards, addressing labor market weaknesses, and strengthening educational connections, is necessary to meet these demands. Importantly, these efforts must be undertaken amidst constrained resources. The focus of our work is to explore how SEAs can effectively respond to the increasing demands they face.

Key questions guiding this exploration include:

  • What capacities need to be developed for states to act on reform agendas?
  • How can state agencies balance their compliance responsibilities with the demand for services and public oversight of K-12?
  • What actions can state legislatures, governors, advocacy groups, and other stakeholders take to support the work of SEAs?

This study identifies key functions performed by state education agencies, estimates the relative level of resources devoted to each activity, and explores ways SEAs could free up resources to build school improvement capacity.

This working paper reports on a meeting in which representatives from several states gathered for a candid discussion of the lessons learned from Louisiana’s dramatic school turnaround efforts.

This report is the conclusion of an extensive six-year national study funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The authors criticize school finance systems for being outmoded and not linked to student results and...

This chapter of Hopes, Fears, & Reality: A Balanced Look at American Charter Schools in 2006 shows how states can get an honest picture of how charter schools are performing under their laws.

This edition of Hopes, Fears, & Reality explores some of the most controversial issues facing the charter school movement and the implications of continued growth for leading players in the charter school debates.

This paper is the result of a review of efforts across the country, and specifically in five states, to introduce performance accountability into education reform strategies.

This report sketches a strong and unique accountability system for Washington State, one that is driven by measurements of student performance and incentives to improve, creates clear lines of responsibility, gives every school a chance...

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