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Assessment and Accountability for Improving Schools and Learning


"Public education underlies much of what is great about America--our shared commitment to democratic ideals, our social inclusiveness, our economic prosperity, the opportunities available to those seeking a better life, and our highest ideals of "liberty and justice for all." Today, there is no question that education at all levels must be improved if it is to fulfill these promises to the next generation of Americans.

The education and assessment experts who wrote this report represent a broad array of stakeholders concerned about the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), of which the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) is the latest version. The panelists seek to ensure that the next version of the law supports the intended purpose of NCLB as outlined in Section 1001: "Ensure that all children have a fair, equal, and significant opportunity to obtain a high quality education."

The panel concludes that significant changes must be made to NCLB in order to meet this goal. This report advances a set of recommendations grounded in six guiding principles and provides a vision for an inclusive, beneficial, and fair assessment and accountability system within a strong, equitable, and steadily improving educational system. The panel urges Congress and state policy makers, as well as educators and the public, to consider these recommendations as the law is reauthorized and implemented."