States have a unique opportunity to build new, innovative K-12 education systems of accountability that are focused on preparing students for college and careers. In a time when there is a national consensus that schools should focus on students’ college and career readiness, it is critical for states to design accountability systems that align with that goal.

Creating a College and Career Readiness Accountability Model for High Schools recommends that states consider the following principles when designing a college and career readiness accountability system for high schools:

  • Use multiple measures to determine school and district performance in the areas of assessment, graduation, college and career readiness and school environment;
  • Provide incentives for preparing the hardest-to-serve students for college and career, including comparing the performance of schools and districts with similar student populations; and,
  • Set targets for accountability measures that are grounded in research and are realistic given past school or district performance.