The Every Student Succeeds Act, to help ensure opportunity for all students regardless of ZIP code, requires state accountability systems to include at least one “Opportunity Dashboard” indicator of school quality or student success.

Key Provisions

  • Under ESSA, state-designed accountability systems must include the following indicators:
    1. Math, reading assessments
    2. Graduation rates
    3. Another statewide indicator for middle and elementary schools
    4. English language proficiency
    5. At least one indicator of school quality and student support (the “Opportunity Dashboard” Indicator), such as:
      • Student engagement;
      • Educator engagement;
      • Student access to and completion of advanced coursework;
      • Post-secondary readiness;
      • School climate and safety; and
      • Any other state-chosen indicator that allows for meaningful differentiation of school performance, and is valid, reliable, comparable, and statewide
  • Every year, the state must meaningfully differentiate all public schools in the state based on ALL of the indicators it includes in its accountability system, for all students and for each subgroup of students. States have a great deal of discretion over these indicators, and states also have the flexibility to determine the weights assigned to each indicator for the purposes of differentiation, so long as Indicators 1-4 weigh more in the aggregate than Indicator(s) 5. States must also differentiate any school in which any subgroup of students is consistently under-performing, as determined by the state, based on all the indicators.
  • States must collect and report on the indicators in its accountability system, disaggregated by student subgroup, and should quickly remedy any gaps in the resources, supports, and programs. The subgroups of students are: 1) economically disadvantaged students; 2) students from major racial and ethnic groups; 3) children with disabilities; and 4) English Learners.
  • Feasibility: All of the examples of indicators of school quality and student success can be measured and disaggregated by these four student subgroups.
  • As educators, parents, community leaders, and policymakers grapple with selecting the right mix of Opportunity Dashboard Indicators to add to states’ accountability systems, examples of these indicators can be found in NEA’s Opportunity Dashboard.

Opportunity Dashboard

Student attendance (elementary and middle school)Students’ access to fully qualified teachers, including Board-certified teachersStudents' access to modern materials, facilities, technology, books, and libraries
Graduation rate (high schools)Students' access to qualified paraeducatorsStudents' access to class sizes that allow for one-on-one attention
School climate index (such as bullying intervention and prevention, positive behavioral supports, parent and student surveys, and restorative justice practices)Students’ access to optimal ratios of specialized instructional support personnel (school counselors, social workers, nurses, psychologists)Students’ access to health and wellness programs, including social and emotional well-being
School discipline policies and the disparate impact on students of color, students with disabilities, and students that identify as LGBTStudents’ access to fully qualified school librarians/media specialistsStudents’ access to high-quality early education programs
Appropriate assessment systemQuality professional development for all educators, including education support professionalsStudents’ access to full-day, five-day- a-week kindergarten
Students’ success in advanced coursework (AP/IB, honors, dual enrollment, college gateway math, science classes)Fully funded mentoring and induction support for educatorsFamily and community engagement
Students prepared for college or career technical education certification programs without need for remediation or learning support coursesOpportunities for job-embedded collaborationStudents’ access to and success in advanced coursework (AP/IB, honors, dual enrollment)
Percentage of teachers who are teaching outside of their fieldStudents’ access to fine arts, foreign language, daily physical education, library/media studies, and career technical education
Percentage of teachers who leave the profession within their first three years
Educators empowered to make site- based decisions