About FEA

Our Mission

Joint Statement on NCLB

FEA Public Events
(includes taped webinars of past events you can view)

Empowering Schools and Improving Learning


Short Articles/Materials

Legislative Proposals

Contact Information

Press Materials / Clips

About NCLB


Transforming ESEA: Helping Public Schools Improve

Transforming ESEA is a series of public discussions sponsored by the Forum on Educational Accountability. These include public forums and webinars. Below you can also access previous presentations that we have recorded.









December 6, 2012:

Rethinking AccountabilityWebinar

Accountability under NCLB and the waivers operates primarily by using standardized test
scores to identify and sanction students, schools and educators. The Forum on Educational
Accountability calls on Congress and the states to redefine accountability. It proposes that
schools, districts and the system as a whole be accountable primarily for taking steps to improve
schools. This must involve using multiple forms of evidence gathered over time, including a
range of information about student learning outcomes as well as school inputs and processes,
and using the data for steps that evidence and research say will improve educational outcomes.
This webinar should be of particular interest to school board members, administrators, teachers,
community and policy organizations concerned about accountability in education.

The Rethinking Accountability Webinar will:

  • Explain how NCLB waivers are largely similar to the law, even with states’ differentiated
    accountability structures, through analysis of the waiver requirements, their general
    characteristics as implemented, and example(s) of their consequences;

  • Discuss the ramifications of holding teachers and principals accountable through
    evaluation systems using student test scores as “significant factors,” plus present ideas for
    beneficial and fair educator evaluation; and

  • Explain FEA proposals for redefining accountability in ways that support genuine school

When: December 6, 2012


Maribel T. Childress, Principal, Monitor Elementary School in Springdale, Arkansas
Dr. Adriane Dorrington, National Education Association Senior Policy Analyst on Teacher
Evaluations, Effectiveness, and Peer Assistance and Review
Dr. Monty Neill, Executive Director, FairTest; Chair, FEA
Kelly Pollitt, Associate Executive Director of Advocacy, Policy and Special Projects, National
Association of Elementary School Principals
Moderator: Beth Foley, Senior Policy Analyst, Education Policy and Practice, NEA

To view this webinar go to:
1/29/13 - LINK PENDING

To view only the slides, go to: www.edaccountability.org/FEA-Accountability-Webinar120612.pdf


November 19, 2012:

Effective School Improvement:
Integrating Real-Life Stories and Policy
An FEA Webinar

What does effective school improvement look like? Hear from District Superintendent Bart Goering of Kansas and retired school social worker and elementary school reform team leader Brenda Rinkes of Ohio tell their stories of school improvement.  Gary Ratner, chair of FEA’s school improvement committee, will then explore how their strategies align with FEA’s policy and practice recommendations for turning around low-achieving schools.
Questions we will address include:

  • What does it take to lead and sustain a turnaround in “real life”?
  • What improvement practices work in leadership, instruction, school climate and parent and community involvement?
  • How long does it take to implement major, integrated improvements?
  • What federal policies are needed to support schools’ implementation of successful practices?

Bart Goering, Superintendent, Spring Hill School District, KS        
Brenda Rinkes, retired school social worker and reform team leader, Bellaire Elementary School, Bellaire, OH
Gary M. Ratner, Executive Director, Citizens for Effective Schools; Chair, FEA Committee on School Improvement/Capacity-building
Moderator: Mary Kingston, Manager of Government Relations, National Association of Secondary School Principals

To see the powerpoint only, Click here. To view and listen to the taped event, go to https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/311765512. (Note, this recording does not start until into Dr Goering's remarks; you can separately see slides from the first part of the presentation, which goes: introduction, Ratner, Goering, Rilkes, Ratner, question and answer.)

The presenters are available to answer questions:
Dr. Bart Goering: goering@usd230.org  
Ms Brenda Rilkes: brenda.rinkes@westliberty.edu
Gary Ratner, Esq.: gratner@rcn.com



September 27, 2012

High Quality Assessment for Instruction and Accountability
An FEA Webinar

High-quality assessment is an essential part of teaching and learning and provides valuable information about school quality and progress. This webinar will present two methods for gathering detailed information – the Learning Record, and performance assessments developed by the New York Performance Standards Consortium. These provide rich feedback to students and teachers, summarize student progress, and in aggregate provide valid and reliable information for public reporting and accountability. We will also discuss how these proven approaches to assessment can inform state and federal policy. The more comprehensive information they provide is more useful than relying heavily on standardized tests. The webinar will begin with three short presentations, followed by questions and discussion.

Who:   Ann Cook, Executive Director, New York Performance Standards Consortium     
            Sally Thomas, former director, Center for Language in Learning/Learning Record
            Monty Neill, Executive Director, Fairtest; Chair, Forum on Educational Accountability
            Moderator: Tom Zembar, Senior Policy Analyst, NEA

When: September 27, 2012, 3:30 – 4:30 Eastern time

View the webinar on authentic performance assessment.

Watch and listen to the playback at https://www.livemeeting.com/cc/nea1/view.

Follow these instructions: Enter your own name, Recording ID: P7GMW8, Attendee Key: feaEPP310$.

At the next screen, enter your email and company name.

Choose mode of viewing; if one does not work for you, choose another (the browser seems to work somewhat better).

To just view the slides, go here.


March 14, 2012

School Turnarounds, School Improvement, and School Quality Reviews for the New ESEA: Focusing on What Works

Please Join Us for a Free Public Discussion

When:  March 14, 2012, 1:30 - 3:00 p.m.
Where: Gold Room, #2168 Rayburn House Office Building
What: Helping improve Title I-funded schools, including turning around the lowest-achieving, is critical to accomplishing ESEA’s purposes.  This briefing will address how the ESEA reauthorization can best advance these goals by emphasizing what works, including the valuable roles school quality reviews could perform. 

Questions we will address include:

  • What are the common elements of successful school turnarounds for low-achieving schools and is a regular process available for conducting them?
  • How could the common elements of success be incorporated in ESEA for the approximately 95% of Title I-funded schools that may not be required to implement “turnaround models”?
  • To what extent do pending Senate and House bills do what’s needed to adopt what works?
  • What does it take to lead and sustain a turnaround in “real life”?
  • What are school quality reviews, how can they be a valuable part of school improvement strategy, and how could they be used most effectively in the U.S.?

Featured Speakers
Peter McWalters, Consultant; Rhode Island Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education (1992-2009); former Council of Chief State School Officers leadership team member.
Kevin Lowndes, Principal, Wheaton High School, Silver Spring, Md.;  Winner, “Breakthrough Schools” Award, 2008, National Association of Secondary School Principals.
Heather Carias, Academy Coordinator and NEA member, Wheaton High School, Silver Spring, Md.
Gary M. Ratner, Chair, Forum on Educational Accountability Committee on School Improvement/Capacity-building; Executive Director, Citizens for Effective Schools.
Moderator: Reggie Felton, Assistant Executive Director for Congressional Relations, National School Boards Association.

FEA bases its work on the Joint Organizational Statement on NCLB, now signed by 156 national education, civil rights, religious, disability, parent and civic groups.  FEA has published reports and provided recommendations for overhauling ESEA regarding assessment, accountability, school improvement and opportunity to learn. 

Please RSVP at:


November 29, 2011:

IS AYP Dead? A Webinar.
The National Education Association and the Forum on Educational Accountability produced a webinar on November 29, 2011 for NEA members about waivers and the Senate HELP Committee reauthorization of ESEA. The webinar presented descriptive, factual information to the participants; it contains little analysis or comment. This version has a few additional or modified slides created by FairTest after the webinar was broadcast.




May 2011:

Overhauling ESEA to Improve Public Schools: FEA’s Reauthorization Proposals

Recording of May 9 Webinar of FEA recommendations for ESEA reauthorization, with Monty Neill on assessment, Gary Ratner on accountability, Reggie Felton on school improvement, and Molly Hunter on opportunity to learn.





Enhancing School and Family Capacity to Support Student Success

Featured Speakers:

Elaine Allensworth, Ph.D., Interim Co-Executive Director, Consortium on Chicago   School Research, University of Chicago

Dennis L. Shirley, Ed.D., Professor, Dept. of Teacher Education, Special Education,  and Curriculum and Instruction, Lynch School of Education, Boston College

 Joyce L. Epstein, Ph.D., Director, Center on School, Family, and Community Partnerships and the National Network of Partnership Schools, and Research Professor, Johns Hopkins University

Gary M. Ratner, Esq., Executive Director, Citizens for Effective Schools and Chair, Forum on Educational Accountability Committee on Capacity-building

 Moderated By:

Reginald M. Felton, Director for Federal Relations, National School Boards Assn.

 When:  June 29, 2010, from 2:00 PM until 4:00 PM

 What:  This discussion will focus on specific policies for inclusion in the ESEA reauthorization that increase the capacity of school staff and students’ families to improve student learning, and on how to implement those policies in practice. Speakers will describe common strategies that have been used successfully in Chicago and elsewhere to help low-performing schools turn around, as well as other innovative and effective systemic changes from the United States and other nations.


Here are the presentations from the FEA forum on improving schools, by Elaine Allensworth, Joyce Epstein, Dennis Shirley and Gary Ratner.

Dennis Shirley, co-author with Andy Hargreaves of The Fourth Way, also presented.  



April 2010:

Transforming ESEA to Meet the Needs of All Learners 

Featured Speaker:
U.S. Representative Judy Chu, Ph.D., Member, House of Representatives, Committee on Education and Labor

Featured Panelists:
Douglas Fuchs,
Professor, Nicholas Hobbs Chair in Special Education and Human Development, Vanderbilt University
Jim Lyons, Esq., Legislative Counsel, Alliance for Multilingual, Multicultural Education


Moderated By:
Myrna Mandlawitz, President, MRM Associates

Lindsay E. Jones, Senior Director for Policy and Advocacy, Council for Exceptional Children

When: April 15, 2010, from 1:00 PM until 3:00 PM
2226 Rayburn House Office Building



March 2010:

Accountability That Advances Learning

A Public Discussion With:

Richard Rothstein, Research Associate, Economic Policy Institute; Author of Grading Education: Getting Accountability Right

Doug Christensen, Emeritus Commissioner of Education, Nebraska; Professor of Leadership in Education, Doane College

Beth Foley, Senior Policy Analyst, Education Policy and Practice Department, National Education Association 

When: March 17, 2010, from 1:00 PM until 3 PM

 Where: Economic Policy Institute, 1333 H Street, NW, Suite 300, East Tower, Washington, DC

 What: Our panelists will present ideas on how to overhaul accountability in the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The Administration, the Congress, and educators, citizens and policymakers across the nation recognize that accountability structures need major changes. Richard Rothstein has proposed the use of 'Inspection' systems as employed in England, New Zealand, Holland and some localities in the U.S., and he supports revamping the National Assessment of Educational Progress. Doug Christensen worked to ensure that both assessment and accountability supported school improvement and high-quality learning in Nebraska through the development of a state system of local assessments led by teachers. Beth Foley will present FEA's ideas for accountability as developed in the Joint Statement on NCLB, Empowering Schools and Improving Learning, and several FEA reports, all available at http://www.edaccountability.org