In September 2005, the Quality Single Accountability Continuum Act (QSAC) was signed into law. QSAC provides a new system of state oversight, accountability and intervention in local school districts, the result of recommendations made by the Institute on Education Law and Policy in its 2002 report, Developing a Plan For Reestablishing Local Control in the State-Operated School Districts. Now, the Institute is working to ensure that the system works in accordance with the spirit of the Act.
One of the recommendations in the Institute’s 2002 report, Developing a Plan for Reestablishing Local Control in the State-operated School Districts, was that the state should create a unified system of state oversight of urban school districts, combining the monitoring and assessment process with a process for implementingAbbott reforms. Another was that the state should establish a clear, specific system of standards and benchmarks by which all districts would be assessed, and, in the case of districts determined to require state assistance, ensure that competent, objective periodic assessments are carried out to measure progress and that the results are communicated to the districts.
State policy makers took these recommendations to heart. Between 2002 and 2005, the Institute worked with state legislators, the Office of Legislative Services, the Commissioner and State Department of Education staff to draft the bill that ultimately became QSAC (although, as adopted, the Act does not entirely reflect the recommendations in the Takeover Report). Now, much more needs to be done, to continue to work with state officials to develop effective regulations and to help local officials understand the new system and its potential for education reform.
With Implementing QSAC, the Institute provides information, guidance and policy analysis on school district accountability issues, and issues relating to reestablishing local control in the state-operated school districts, to state and local school officials. The Institute’s work includes:
New Jersey Quality Single Accountability Continuum (QSAC): 2006 Pilot Program Evaluation, which discusses the Department of Education’s 13-district field test of the “district performance review” created to implement QSAC;
QSAC: A Guide for School Officials and the Public
Comments and presentations to the Commissioner and the State Board of Education to ensure effective implementation
Testimony of Professor Paul Tractenberg to New Jersey State Board of Education (2/15/2006)
New Jersey Quality Single Accountability Continuum (QSAC): 2006 Pilot Program Evaluation (11/7/2006)
Testimony of Brenda Liss, Executive Director, IELP, Before the Assembly Education Committee on QSAC Amendments (12/4/2006)
NEW! QSAC: A Guide for School Officials and the Public (5/30/2007)