Making Sense of Accountability, Assessment & Research
The state and the federal governments realize the importance of using multiple measures to evaluate schools. This is why all evaluations, in order to ensure accuracy and fairness, rely on multiple pieces of information and not a single unique data point. In addition to state and federal requirements for testing and accountability, schools and districts also strive to provide evidence of success through other measures. TUHSD’s also measure in a more detailed and more accessible manner the strengths and weaknesses of each student and each program. In the years ahead the district plans to broaden the program in order to provide more reliable information to students, parents and teachers about student academic achievement.
As a parent, consider using more than a single piece of information to make decisions about school effectiveness. Rather, use a wealth of information and data about school or district performance to make good decisions about your child’s future. It is our hope that this information will prove to be valuable in assisting you to determine the effectiveness of the schools in TUHSD and that it will provide a more complete picture of our district’s dedication to student achievement.
No Child Left Behind and TUHSD
In 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed into law the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA). While signing the bill, President Johnson stated “No law I have signed or will ever sign means more to the future of America." The law established a federal funding program for public education in the areas where it was most needed, with the goal of raising student achievement nationwide.
The federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) is a reauthorization of ESEA. NCLB was passed by the United States Congress and signed by President George W. Bush, becoming effective on January 8, 2002 as Public Law 107-110. This law requires states to establish an accountability system to evaluate the performance of local public schools and school districts. While ESEA in 1965 established the funding, NCLB made states, districts, and schools accountable for raising student achievement. The ultimate goals of NCLB are to close the achievement gap among ethnic and special program subgroups
The Tempe Union High School District’s (TUHSD) Strategic Plan Goal #1 is “We will increase student achievement.” In compliance, TUHSD assesses its students yearly in reading, writing, mathematics, and science. The assessments test student comprehension of the Arizona State Standards in those subject areas. All data from the assessments are used to make programmatic, curricular, and instructional decisions with Goal #1 as our guiding force.