No Child Left Behind Act of 2001

Volume IX -- Accountability Under NCLB: Final Report

Published in: "State and Local Implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act: Volume IX -- Accountability Under NCLB: Final Report." (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Planning, Evaluation and Development, Policy and Program Studies Service, Washington D.C., 2010)

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2010

by James Taylor, Brian M. Stecher, Scott Naftel, Jennifer O'Day, Kerstin Carlson Le Floch

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The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) is designed to achieve an ambitious goal: All children will be proficient in reading and mathematics by the 2013-14 school year. A key strategy for achieving this goal is accountability. NCLB holds schools and districts accountable for their students' mastery of state academic content standards, as measured by state tests, including students with limited English proficiency (LEP) and students receiving special education services. NCLB accountability rests on several key premises: that clear definitions and targets for desired academic outcomes and English language proficiency will provide both incentives for and indicators of improvement; that identification of districts and schools not meeting their improvement targets will help focus assistance and interventions in places where they are most needed; that widely available information about student performance will enable parents, educators and other stakeholders to make informed decisions about how best to serve their students or children; and that targeted assistance will stimulate school and district improvement. Based on findings from two federally funded studies--the Study of State Implementation of Accountability and Teacher Quality Under NCLB (SSI-NCLB) and the National Longitudinal Study of NCLB (NLS-NCLB)--this report describes the progress that states, districts, and schools have made in implementing the accountability provisions of NCLB through 2006-07. Data were collected in state level interviews; surveys of a nationally representative sample of district officials, principals, and teachers; surveys of parents in eight school districts; and surveys of supplemental educational service providers in 16 districts in 2004-05 and in 2006-07. This report is based on data collected in 2004-05 and 2006-07, and updates findings from the Interim report that were based on data collected in 2004-05. This report presents findings about accountability from two longitudinal studies, the National Longitudinal Study of No Child Left Behind (NLS-NCLB), and the Study of State Implementation of Accountability and Teacher Quality Under No Child Left Behind (SSI-NCLB). The research teams for these two studies have collaborated to provide an integrated evaluation of the implementation of key NCLB provisions at the state level (SSI-NCLB) and at the district and school levels (NLS-NCLB). Together the two studies are the basis for a series of reports on the topics of accountability, teacher quality, Title I school choice and supplemental educational services, and targeting and resource allocation. This is the ninth and last volume in this report series.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation external publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

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