Public Policy Position on Educational Accountability

The National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) believes that:

  • Independent schools have a responsibility to instill their students with the knowledge, competencies, and values to be ethical and engaged global citizens.
  • Educational accountability is essential to ensure the quality of independent schools.
  • Schools are accountable to their parents and students.
  • The community of independent schools must continue to demonstrate its accountability using a variety of measurements, including successful educational outcomes.

Educational Accountability Legislative Initiatives

NAIS supports policies that:

  • Respect the independence of independent schools to teach and prepare their students in a manner that matches the school mission and meets the needs of students.
  • Allow flexibility in defining and measuring accountability that reflects the uniqueness of independent schools and their missions.
  • Preserve student privacy rights.
  • Preserve the independence of independent school accreditation while also ensuring that the process provides assurance of quality and serves as a catalyst for innovation, improvement, and excellence.

Perspectives on Educational Accountability

  • An independent school’s accountability for student achievement and school success cannot be addressed by standardized testing alone, nor by any single scale of measurement.
  • Test scores should never be allowed to become the sole indicator of achievement or failure. Educational accountability requires a much broader, long-term assessment of a variety of outcomes.
  • While parents are the ultimate judges of whether their child’s school is delivering on its mission, each school's performance is continually assessed by a board of trustees and, on a periodic basis, extensively reviewed by an approved accrediting agency that holds the institution accountable to rigorous standards.

Who We Are

The National Association of Independent Schools provides services to more than 1,800 schools and associations of schools in the United States and abroad, including more than 1,500 nonprofit, independent private K-12 schools in the U.S. that are self-determining in mission and program and are governed by independent boards.

For more information, please contact Jefferson Burnett at burnett@nais.org or (202) 973-9714.