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Public School (K-12) Accountability

March 5, 2022
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WRITTEN BY Dr. Alan Moss

Executive Summary 

High-quality schools are important both for individual success and for overall economic growth for the U.S.  School accountability measures such as Annual Performance Reports (APRs) are a way to measure school success and identify schools that need improvement. House Bill 2652 would make several changes to the weighting of school performance measurements in APRs and add reporting requirements. It also includes a requirement for schools consistently in the bottom 5% of APR scores to be closed or “reconstituted in partnership with a high-quality charter school organization”. 

Highlights 

  • Traditional (district) and magnet public schools are locally governed by school boards and are held accountable to state education standards through accreditation by the State Board of Education.
  • The Missouri School Improvement Program (MSIP 6) has the responsibility of reviewing and accrediting the public school districts in Missouri. They do so based on Annual Performance Reports (APRs).
  • Many states use additional measures of school quality such as chronic absenteeism, college and career readiness measures, and school climate measures (e.g., suspension and discipline rates).

Limitations 

  • Because there are many different outcomes from schools that stakeholders value (e.g., academic performance, lifetime earnings, critical thinking, etc.) it is difficult to determine the ideal combination of assessments and other measures to determine if a school is being successful and/or if it needs additional help in certain areas.
  • There is a lack of research on the effects of different accountability measure weightings on student outcomes.
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