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Making the grade

from Center for American Progress

One of the most enduring and contentious debates in education circles concerns the best way to hold schools and districts accountable for improving outcomes for students and closing achievement gaps. Lawmakers, teachers, district administrators, parents, and other stakeholders — all with strong and differing opinions — have wrestled for decades with questions about the appropriate role of the federal government compared with that of states and school districts in the operation of schools and the measurement of their success. Over the past 15 years, however, a national consensus slowly has emerged among the disparate parties and coalesced into a clear movement toward more sophisticated accountability systems and fewer federal mandates. more

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