The Changing Federal Role in School Accountability

January 2017
Brian Jacob

This is a point / counterpoint. The goal of the article is to discuss the influence of school accountability policies on educational inputs (e.g., funding, teacher quality, instructional practices, and school organization) as well as outputs (e.g., student achievement). It first reviews the evidence on NCLB as well as earlier state accountability systems, discussing the evidence for both positive and negative effects and reviewing what we still have left to learn with regard to these policies. It then summarizes what we know about the potential effects of the current federal approach to school accountability. Finally, it offers some thoughts about what role the federal government should play in school accountability.