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States Journal: Ala. Adopts Performance-Based Accreditation Planfor Districts

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The Alabama State Board of Education last month unanimously approved a comprehensive performance-based accreditation system.

The new standards, to be phased in by 1994, will assess schools based on such factors as student test scores, attendance and graduation data, class sizes, school facilities and equipment, textbooks, curricula, teacher training, services for at-risk pupils, and community involvement with schools.

The standards, which will have to be met by every school in a district in order for the district to be accredited, may force some smaller schools to consolidate, according to school officials.

To de-emphasize the role of standardized multiple-choice and norm-referenced tests, the board last month also approved several revisions to its student-testing program. The revised program will offer updated versions and timetables for existing state tests as well as a new kindergarten assessment checklist; criterion-referenced tests in mathematics, science, reading, and writing for 2nd graders; a 5th-grade writing assessment; and new end-of-course tests in various subjects.

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