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Accountability: Making School Choice Programs Sustainable

 

The Alliance for School Choice supports strong, commonsense accountability provisions for private school choice programs to ensure the highest level of program quality and sustainability. To achieve this goal, we support public policies that allow for significant transparency to parents, policymakers, taxpayers, and independent evaluators in order to show the effectiveness of these programs. Responsible accountability standards demonstrate both a serious commitment to transparency while ensuring that participating schools maintain their autonomy.
 
What Accountability Means & Who It Benefits
 
Accountability within school choice programs fall under three broad categories: administrative, financial, and academic. Specifically, the Alliance for School Choice recognizes the importance of academic accountability provisions to:
 
  • Parents, who need information to help them choose high-quality schools that meet the needs of their children.
  • Policymakers, taxpayers, and investors in education reform who need information to assess the impact of parent choice programs on academic achievement.
  • Independent evaluators, who need effective tools to study programs to determine effectiveness, including academic progress of participating children, educational outcomes, and parental satisfaction.
 
We believe the school choice movement should encourage states to create new legislation and improve existing legislation so that there is significant transparency to all parties to show the effectiveness of these programs and the schools that participate in them. We also believe that academic information, including both snapshots of academic achievement and some measure of student gains, should be provided to parents and the public, both for voucher programs and tax credit scholarship programs.
 
You can compare the accountability provisions of different programs here. To take an in-depth look at the specific provisions of each state, download our 2011-12 School Choice Yearbook.