Joint Committee to Develop a Master Plan for Education
Accountability for Learner Outcomes and Institutional Performance
The State has a responsibility to monitor the performance of public education institutions and, in the case of K-12 schools, is ultimately accountable for the proper use of public funds to ensure that every student is provided access to a high-quality education in a safe and properly maintained facility. As a practical matter, accountability for educational outcomes is, and should be, shared among a variety of people and entities. Holding these multiple actors properly accountable requires that their respective shares of responsibility be clear and broadly understood. The recommendations in this section of the Master Plan identify the major actors, delineate their responsibilities, and suggest ways in which they should be held accountable for their actions. Building a system of shared responsibility requires:
- Redefining the responsibilities of the Governor, the Board of Education, and Superintendent of Public Instruction (SPI) so that they are complementary to each other, and assigning ultimate responsibility for the public schools to the Governor's Office.
- Clearly defining the powers and responsibilities of various state, regional/county, and local governance and administrative entities for all sectors of public education.
- Charging the SPI with responsibility for developing indicators of the opportunities for teaching and learning that are necessary to support high-quality education for every student, based on the elements of the California Quality Education Model, and with using those indicators to help parents and policymakers to interpret student achievement data.
- Promoting the use of locally developed assessment on a frequent basis, to provide teachers with information that would enable them to adjust their instructional strategies, prompt them to assess for potential learning disabilities, and/or help them refer students to supplemental support services, as needed.
- Requiring public postsecondary education to take actions that would result in a clear understanding of a set of learning outcomes are the students it enrolls expected to achieve and appropriate measures for evaluating the performance of its campuses.
- Incorporating data on student achievement into a state-level accountability system at all education levels.
In addition, serious attention should be given to examining the feasibility of using certain labor market outcomes as part of a system of indicators of the performance of education institutions, particularly for assessing the readiness of graduates of secondary and postsecondary institutions to successfully enter the workforce and engage in civic activities.