Our friend Josh Garcia, deputy superintendent in Tacoma, Washington was just featured as a Leader to Learn From on EdWeek. He spearheaded the development of a "whole child" accountability system that bases district judgments about schools on far more than just test scores.
From the article
Three lessons from Josh Garcia on redesigning school accountability:
1. Defining success and how to measure it is tough. Educators have to grapple with more subjective questions around how to measure whether students are productive citizens, for example, and what criteria courses would have to meet to be considered “rigorous.”
2. Deal forthrightly with a lack of historical data. Tacoma had to be frank with the public that it had never collected a lot of student data that would have helped measure progress. “We had to be willing to be vulnerable,” Garcia says.
3. Creating the accountability system is just the beginning: Changing familiar ways of doing business is a major challenge, Garcia says, but leaders have to do the hard work to keep people moving forward. “There are kids behind that data, and you have to keep saying that, making an action plan for them,” he says.