Short Title

Toward a More Balanced School Accountability System


school accountability, community-based accountability systems, public education policy, accountability policy


Using a zone of mediation framework, we explore how one school district designed a community-based accountability system (CBAS) reflecting community stakeholders’ values, priorities, and goals. We collected rich data sets from a document analysis, focus group, and individual interviews. Our findings indicated a strong dissatisfaction with test-based accountability that led the district to engage its stakeholders in designing a CBAS using multiple achievement measures to report on district success. The importance of collaboration with other districts and leaders at the local, regional, and state levels also emerged. This study highlights the importance of stakeholder involvement, leadership, and collaboration when making equity-minded reforms and exemplifies how to engage in this work.



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