• Accountability and Assessments

  • The goal of an accountability system is to ensure that quality learning is occurring within a system of publicly-funded schools. Accountability encompasses a systemic approach to education that requires the responsible, transparent use and measure of:

    • Inputs: Highly qualified teachers and administrators, financial resources, and facilities;
    • Process: Curriculum and instructional delivery aligned with Arizona academic standards, with assessments used as an indicator of the acquisition of knowledge;
    • Outputs: Student achievement, as defined by the Arizona academic standards.


    The absence of quality in any component of this system will have a negative impact on the rest of the system. To this point:

    • Arizona needs to maintain rigorous academic standards.
    • Assessments used to determine the degree to which students have met these standards must be fair, valid, and reliable.
    • Results of assessments, school profiles, and enrollment data used in state and national accountability systems must be accurate, accessible and understandable to the public, and delivered by the Arizona Department of Education to local educational agencies and the public at large in a timely manner.
    • Assessments are useful tools for measuring progress in student achievement. There are many different types of assessments that can measure student achievement, including assessments that measure acquisition of the content of the Arizona Academic Standards and assessments that compare achievement to students in other states.


    Accountability-based reforms require a sound information management system that links enrollment data with achievement data. School administration should be held responsible for setting educational and budgetary priorities with the focus on increasing student achievement. Curriculum alignment is key to standards-based instruction and should be implemented across districts. Districts should seek opportunities to unify where such opportunities would promote alignment and efficiency.