In their joint Huffington Post contribution Is There a Third Way for ESEA?, Linda Darling-Hammond and Paul Hill acknowledge that they are "members of very different 'camps' on school reform," but "we think there is more common ground than has yet been evident in the political process." They drew upon the efforts of two "distinct groups of scholars and policy experts that met separately to rethink educational accountability."
Perhaps the most important point of agreement was Darling-Hammond's and Hill's statement:
We agreed that, because a student's learning in any one year depends on what was learned previously and on the efforts of many professionals working together, the consequences of high and low performance should attach to whole schools, rather than to individual educators.
State and federal governments can provide data and research, as well as systems of support, and can incentivize improvement. But they should not make decisions about how to evaluate individual educators or manage individual schools.
I just wish they had taken their impeccable logic one step further and applied it to individual students; for the same reasons, a student should not be denied a high school diploma simply because he failed a college-readiness test.
In my experience, many or most reformers understand that value-added evaluations are a big mistake, but they sometimes are reluctant to openly call for a reversal of that failed policy. Sadly, in my experience, liberal reformers are often more uneasy about separating themselves from this crumbling cornerstone of Arne Duncan's term.
So, when I followed their link to Fordham Foundation's and The Center for Reinventing Education's Designing the Next Generation of State Education Accountability Systems, was only somewhat pleasantly surprised. The CRPE cites their "emerging consensus about state accountability systems providing a light (or lighter) touch on districts and schools." It also acknowledges that the "lack of autonomy forced by consequences can also drive high-performing teachers away from the schools that need them the most."
I was more pleasantly surprised by Robin Lake's Time for Charters to Lead on Special Education.