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Press Release

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

CCSSO Reaffirms State Leadership to Improve Accountability Systems

Contact:Olympia Meolaolympia.meola@ccsso.org202-336-7071

Washington, D.C. (November 3, 2015) -- The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) today reaffirmed the commitment of states to design more advanced accountability systems that better meet the needs of all students.

Regardless of uncertainty at the federal level, state education leaders are continuing to press for state accountability systems that support educators, parents and students by providing useful information that leads to improved outcomes for all students.

This work builds on the principles that state chiefs committed to in 2011 to move beyond what was required under No Child Left Behind.

"States have taken the lead to create better systems of accountability that ensure schools and districts are improving outcomes for all students," said Chris Minnich, executive director of CCSSO. "Rather than focusing only on labeling, states are designing systems that honestly assess what is happening in schools so they can offer support that best meets the needs of students and local schools."

"Alabama's approach to accountability has, and will remain to be how we use assessment results to improve the instructional practice of our teachers and thus, the learning opportunities for our students," said Alabama Superintendent Thomas Bice. "We have created a state accountability system that exceeds the required expectations for NCLB or our ESEA Waiver, that we feel better prepares us to ensure ALL students graduate college and career ready. We advance more relevant and rigorous academic expectations while at the same time reducing the achievement gaps between groups of students."

"I am a firm believer in the power of accountability systems to improve student outcomes," said Mississippi Superintendent of Education Carey M. Wright. "A strong accountability system puts a spotlight on the progress of all students, including those who perform in the lowest 25 percent. This information is essential to states and districts in order to close achievement gaps and to drive continuous improvement."

CCSSO, on behalf of the states, reaffirms our commitment to these underlying beliefs about accountability systems:

·         Equity remains at the core of accountability with the primary goal of these systems being to identify opportunity and achievement gaps and work to close them.

·         The information collected about schools and districts is only as good as how it is used; data used for purposes of accountability must be timely, actionable and accessible and must be shared in a meaningful way with those who are impacted, including educators, parents and students.

·         Schools and districts that are struggling the most require the most significant support and interventions.

·         States must continue to reflect on the measures used for school and district performance and the supports offered to schools and districts. All states should allow room for accountability systems to evolve as our understanding of what works effectively evolves.

For more information about the commitment of state education leaders, download the States' Continued Commitment to Next-Generation Accountability Systems.


The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) is a nonpartisan, nationwide, nonprofit organization of public officials who head departments of elementary and secondary education in the states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and five U.S. extra-state jurisdictions. CCSSO provides leadership, advocacy, and technical assistance on major educational issues. The Council seeks member consensus on major educational issues and expresses their views to civic and professional organizations, federal agencies, Congress, and the public.