Advancing Educational Equity for Undeserved Youth: How New State Accountability Systems Can Support School Inclusion and Student Success

Advancing Educational Equity for Undeserved Youth: How New State Accountability Systems Can Support School Inclusion and Student Success
February 23, 2017 Stuart Foundation

States committed to promoting equity and improving outcomes for historically underserved youth can choose measures that reward schools for adopting inclusive policies and practices that equip and empower youth to succeed and result in higher achievement and graduation rates. As states develop their accountability and improvement systems under ESSA, they can choose high-leverage measures of school progress that, when combined with effective policies, hold promise for supporting success for the youth most marginalized by the education system.

To promote equity and improve outcomes, states can:

  • track suspension and expulsion rates and replace ineffective zero-tolerance discipline policies with restorative justice practices;(02)
  • incentivize schools to evaluate and improve school climate, which is associated with increased achievement and educational attainment for all students, especially those who are most vulnerable;
  • monitor attendance and chronic absenteeism, and create approaches to intervene early and support attendance where needed to increase learning time;
  • use an extended-year graduation rate (e.g., five, six, or seven years) as well as a four-year rate, to encourage high schools to work with and even bring back young people who are unable graduate in four years; and
  • measure youth access to and completion of college- and career-ready courses of study to expand availability of evidence-based pathways and encourage schools to offer these opportunities to all youth.

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