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Community-Based Accountability

To prepare future-ready students, schools must inspire them and stimulate their learning. But the current system by which Texas public schools are held accountable for student learning — with its focus on high-stakes standardized testing — has created an environment in which the curriculum has been narrowed and only academic abilities are valued, with creativity, problem-solving and teamwork stifled.

Community-based accountability systems empower students, parents, and educators to build a learning community that honors and supports the work of students, teachers, and parents. It empowers school districts to design their own internal systems of assessment and accountability that, while meeting general state standards, allow districts to innovate and customize curriculum and instruction to meet the unique needs and interests of their communities.

Community-based accountability is not a way to escape standardized testing or a tool to pass judgment on individual students. It is a:

  • locally developed system of evidence of student learning
  • strategic and customized form of measuring student achievement
  • rigorous descriptive reporting to parents and community members

The foundation of CBAS is a four-part system consisting of:

  1. student and classroom-centered evidence of learning
  2. strategic use of standardized testing
  3. performance reviews and validation of learning by highly trained visiting teams
  4. rigorous descriptive reporting to parents and communities

Read more on our vision for community-based accountability.

Texas Districts Using Community-Based Accountability Systems

Some Texas High Performance Schools Consortium and Consortium Associate districts are adopting community-based accountability systems. See what those systems look like in these districts. And find more examples of school transformation on our Latest News page.

TPAC Working to Advance Community-Based Accountability

The Texas Performance Assessment Consortium (TPAC), launched in 2017, is a pilot group of 44 Texas school districts working to build on the success of community-based accountability systems already in use in districts across the state by developing next-generation measures and assessments that would enable wider use of such systems. Read more about the launch of TPAC.

CBAS Process and Framework Guide


CBAS Report


A Process and Framework for Community-Based Accountability is a document intended to help Texas school districts jump-start implementation of a local community-based accountability system (CBAS).

The Process portion presents questions that district leaders can ask to help guide themselves through development and implementation. The Framework portion provides tips on what to include in a local CBAS. Although there is no "template" (a district's CBAS should be developed through a process so it is a true reflection of the community), there are important core, common considerations.

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