Accountability to Drive Continuous Improvement under ESSA

A working group facilitated by the Innovation Lab Network (ILN) of the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), the Learning Policy Institute (LPI), the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education (SCOPE) and Public Impact


Evolving Coherent Systems of Accountability for Next Generation Learning: A Decision Framework

Several states, including those in CCSSO’s Innovation Lab Network, are supporting local practitioners to rethink how to redesign classroom environments to deliver better outcomes for all students. As schools and districts across the country increasingly develop models of student-centered “next-generation” learning, states are considering how they can take action to encourage and scale these important shifts in teaching and learning. To support the shift toward student-centered, personalized learning models, state departments of education play an important role in both signaling the learning outcomes toward which these models should strive, and ensuring that state systems of assessment and accountability enable, rather than discourage, these new models. This resource guides state policymakers through a series of central design questions and provides sample options – including key considerations, potential trade-offs, and state examples – to help inform the state’s decision-making. While not exhaustive, this document provides state leaders with a starting point for considering how to evolve their current assessment and accountability systems. It is intended to spark collaboration and discussion among state leaders, their staff, and local leaders as they consider innovative solutions that improve student outcomes.


School Choice in the States: A Policy Landscape

In order to support its member chief state school officers in making critical decisions about school choice policies, CCSSO has undertaken an effort to encourage the discussion of school choice policies across its membership. As an initial follow-up to its recent policy statement on school choice, CCSSO has attempted to address the often-asked question "What are other states doing?" by creating an ideologically-agnostic landscape analysis of school choice policies across the states.


Expanded Learning Opportunities (ELO) Toolkit

This online toolkit was developed by the Expanded Learning Opportunities (ELO) program at CCSSO to support chief state school officers and state education agency staffs in your efforts to implement high-quality ELOs. This toolkit includes research on ELOs, content related to state implementation of federal ELOs (e.g. 21st Century Community Learning Centers, Supplemental Educational Services), as well as information about state-based programs.


Adolescent Literacy Toolkit

CCSSO’s Adolescent Literacy Toolkit was developed by the Council and multiple partners in response to a state-identified need to develop the skills, knowledge, and resources of content-area high school teachers to implement adolescent literacy best practices and strategies in their classrooms.


Analysis of U.S. and International Educational Goal Frameworks

A two-part analysis demonstrating (1) common themes across international educational goal frameworks, and (2) common foundational skills across U.S. labor industries.


ILN Overview Video

This video provides an overview of the mission and work of CCSSO's Innovation Lab Network


Competency Education Series: Policy Brief One

Part one of the Competency based education series includes a working definition for competency education, examples of states doing the ground breaking work in this area and an appropriate role for the federal government to remove policy barriers and to create diagnostic and assessment tools to measure effectiveness. Included in this publication is a continuum to help innovators and policymakers differentiate between full-scale competency models and those that have begun to pave the way for this work.


Necessary for Success: Building Mastery of World-Class Skills – A State Policymakers Guide to Competency Education

An opportunity for state leaders to reflect upon the efforts of contemporaries around the country, Necessary for Success shares insights into re-engineering the policy and practices of our K-12 systems; introduces the main concepts behind competency-based learning; studies important initial steps taken by states in introducing this emerging model; and considers creating a culture of competency within state agencies. You can find more resources on the Competency-Based Pathways Wiki.