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Moving toward next-generation accountability

South Dakota is one of 41 states that have joined together, under the auspices of the Council of Chief State School Officers, to develop core principles for what are being called “next generation accountability systems.” The core principles were unveiled last month.

“One of the main reasons states decided to go this route is due to the lack of reauthorization at the federal level,” explained Secretary of Education Melody Schopp. “Without change to the current federal law, we could see schools across the nation, and here in South Dakota, labeled unfairly as failing.”

According to Schopp, the core principles issued by the 41 states provide broad brushstrokes for what accountability systems of the future might look like, but each state will determine the details of its own system.

In an email to school leaders about next-generation accountability, Schopp wrote: “You are the people who best understand the consequences, both positive and negative, that the current system has had on your students, your staffs and your school community. For that reason, we will be looking to you to help us develop a system for South Dakota that holds schools accountable, but also fosters innovation and continuous improvement. … Ultimately, my goal for South Dakota is to develop a new accountability system that is legitimate, useful and promotes continuous improvement.”

To view the nine core principles developed by the state-led CCSSO group, click here.