The public can comment on state plans to resume school accountability program


WXXI – The New York State Department of Education may be reinstating the school accountability system, but not before hearing from the public.

The accountability system is a way for the state to measure certain metrics, like graduation rates, academic progress, and chronic absenteeism.

It’s a federal requirement since the Every Student Succeeds Act was passed in 2015 — but last school year was an exception.

The federal government granted New York state a waiver to pause the program for the 2021-22 school year due to the pandemic. The state education department was denied a waiver request in December for the upcoming school year.

Now Education Commissioner Betty Rosa says her office is planning to reinstate the system. The current proposal at a glance excludes indicators for academic progress and would only use data from the previous school year.

“Accountability is a two-way street … between our Department and schools and districts,” Rosa said in a statement. “New York’s proposed plan to restart the accountability system accounts for the realities of the past three school years during the pandemic and how it affected the state’s ability to collect data on student learning. … We will use it as a basis to continue to provide supports and resources to those schools and districts that most need them.”

The education department’s proposed plan is open to public comment until 5 p.m. Friday, August 5.