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Campaign for Fiscal Equity

Thu, Apr 22, 2004

CFE Calls for New System of Accountability

Testing and Sanctions Alone Not Sufficient To Ensure Sound, Basic Education

To provide students with the opportunity for a sound basic education, the state must implement a system for accountability that incorporates adequate funding and the fair distribution and effective use of resources as well as outcome measures and consequences for poor performance, according to a CFE proposal on accountability released today. The accountability plan responds to the Court of Appeals order in CFE v. State, which requires a new approach to accountability as well as increased education funding.

“We are all accountable for the success of our schools,” stated Michael A. Rebell, CFE's Executive Director and Counsel. “This plan will ensure that resources are spent effectively to get students what they need to succeed.”

The CFE proposal is designed to ensure major improvements in schools that will help to attract and retain quality teachers, improve instruction and use resources efficiently. The proposal outlines five major components for accountability: adequate systemic funding, comprehensive planning and distribution of resources to each school, the effective use of resources, assessing outcomes properly and appropriate consequences for poor performance.

The proposal would ensure that all stakeholders are held accountable for student performance, rather than just the teachers and students who have traditionally been held accountable through tests and other measures. The State must provide adequate funding for a sound, basic education to all districts. Local school districts and schools would then develop long-term comprehensive sound, basic education plans that ensure resources are distributed fairly and spent wisely. The State Department of Education would review and approve district plans, develop statewide information systems and take action to assist failing schools. An Accountability Oversight Panel would identify existing statutory, regulatory and contractual provisions that create impediments to constitutional compliance, undertake operational efficiency audits, and annually report to the governor and legislature and the public on the implementation of the new accountability system.

The accountability proposal is the last of three by CFE in the major areas encompassed by the court order: reform of the state system for providing operating funds to school districts; reform of the state system for providing capital funds to school districts; and reform of the state’s approach to accountability in education. The task force proposals will be shared with the state legislature, the governor’s Commission for Education Reform, and, if necessary, the court.

Parents from across the state march on the Capitol in Albany to show support for CFE.
CFE Litigation CFE v. State of New York
In 2006, after 13 years in the Courts, the New York State Court of Appeals affirmed the right of every public school student in New York to the opportunity for a sound basic education and the state’s responsibility to adequately fund this right, but deferred to the Governor and the Legislature to determine the appropriate amount. more >