The undeniable need to increase the depth and breadth of educational achievement in the United States has raised the interest in educational standards, student-level data, and accountability systems. It has also raised concerns and created understandable resistance as educators and policymakers, as well as parents and other stakeholders, energetically debate what kinds of standards, data, and accountability systems are needed to help improve educational achievement.
The purpose of this essay is to help advance the discussions occurring in most states by describing the kinds of data and accountability systems needed to help more students prepare for and succeed in postsecondary education. Included is (1) a description of an effective K-16 data and accountability system; (2) an overview of the general status of K-12 and postsecondary data systems; (3) examples of promising state practices; and (4) some concluding recommendations.
Learn more about State Postsecondary Data Systems.