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Educational Accountability

Acknowledging the current accountability debate of whether or not it is discriminatory to measure disaggregated student achievement, President Bush responded, "It is discriminatory not to measure, because guess who gets shuffled through the system? Guess who just gets shoved through? It's generally children whose parents don't have money. It's generally minority kids. We're just going to move them through, and hope they come out okay in the end. Well, they don't come out okay in the end" (The White House, 2003).

The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act has required states to implement a system that holds schools and districts accountable for the academic achievement of all students. For the first time, educators have been challenged to provide—through annual state report cards—statewide assessment data that is disaggregated by race, income, and other criteria to reveal student performance. With this kind of information, educators have the data they need to be able to identify and, more importantly, address the needs of low-performing students.

While the legislation creates a unique opportunity for educators and empowers parents with information about the quality of their child's school, complying with the accountability component of the NCLB Act can be challenging for educators and policymakers. The North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL) has compiled an extensive list of resources to help bring understanding and capacity to the issue.


The White House. (2003, September 9). President Bush discusses the No Child Left Behind Act in Florida [Press release]. Retrieved September 18, 2020, from

Educational Accountability Resources from NCREL

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