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Statewide Educational Accountability Systems Under the NCLB Act—A Report on 2009 and 2010 Amendments to State Plans

Author(s)William J. Erpenbach
Publication dateJune 2011
publication pdfStatewide Educational Accountability Systems Under the NCLB ACT

Executive Summary
The conclusion of the 2010–11 school year will mark nine plus years since enactment of the No Child Left Behind
Act of 2001 (NCLB). Throughout this period, numerous states—sometimes almost every one—have annually
sought to amend the educational accountability systems they first developed as “workbooks”1 in 2002–03,
consistent with the law’s requirements and goals to improve teaching and student achievement. In most cases, the
proposed amendments were initiated by the individual states. However, some amendments came at the direction
of the U.S. Department of Education (ED) as a result of the promulgation of regulations or a finding of
noncompliance or other technicality usually resulting from a Title I monitoring visit.
In this paper, covering the 2008–09 and 2009–10 school years, the number of states continuing to submit
amendment requests and the number of substantive amendments proposed remains surprising so long after
NCLB’s enactment.2 The highest number of states (49 and the District of Columbia) and greatest number of
proposed amendments (over 275) occurred in 2008. In 2009, at least 36 states and the District of Columbia
submitted approximately 90 substantive requests, and at least 31 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico
submitted approximately 95 substantive, proposed amendments in 2010.