Publications & Resources

Accountability Systems: Implications of Requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001

Jun 2002

Robert L. Linn, Eva L. Baker, and Damian W. Betebenner

The recently enacted No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 amends the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. The new law substantially increases the testing requirements for states and sets demanding accountability standards for schools, districts, and states, including the setting of measurable adequate yearly progress objectives for all students, as well as for subgroups of students defined by socioeconomic background, race/ethnicity, and English language proficiency. Some of the implications of the law for state accountability systems are discussed. Issues raised by variations among states in their content standards, the rigor of their tests, and the stringency of their performance standards are illustrated. In addition, the differences in types of tests are considered, as well as provisions related to how local tests might be integrated into the system. Some suggestions are provided for leveling the playing field among states and for improving the ways in which adequate yearly progress is evaluated.

Linn, R. L., Baker, E. L., & Betebenner, D. W. (2002). Accountability systems: Implications of requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (CSE Report 567). Los Angeles: University of California, Los Angeles, National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST).