Opt-Out or Cop-Out? A Debate on 'New' Accountability Systems

Opt-Out or Cop-Out? A Debate on 'New' Accountability Systems

July 25, 2013 - 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm
The Thomas B. Fordham Institute
1016 16th Street NW
7th Floor
Washington, DC 20036
United States

Co-hosted with


Growing numbers of parents, educators, and school administrators are calling for a local “opt-out” from state tests and accountability systems.

Is this opt-out a cop-out? Or would students benefit from a system that their own teachers and principals devised? Should all schools be offered an opt-out alternative, one in which they propose to be held accountable to a different set of measures? What about opt-outs for high-achieving schools or schools with good reason to be different? Would such a system move us toward or away from the goals of the Common Core? As for charter schools, must they continue to be tethered to uniform statewide accountability systems? Or should we rekindle the concept of customizing each school's charter and performance expectations?

Join the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, Democrats for Education Reform, and several leading education reformers and thinkers for a lively discussion of the accountability opt-out—as well as its potential pitfalls.


headshotcb.jpg Charles Barone, policy director, Democrats for Education Reform
Lake.png Robin Lake, director, Center for Reinventing Public Education
20110617_petrilli.jpg Michael Petrilli, executive vice president, Thomas B. Fordham Institute 
new photo.JPG Delia Pompa, senior vice president of programs, National Council of La Raza 
smith_nelson.jpg Nelson Smith, senior advisor, National Association of Charter School Authorizers
AndySmarick.gif Andy Smarick, partner, Bellwether Education Partners