Understanding Nominal and Effective Weights in School Accountability Systems

Weights Assigned to Indicators May Not Reflect Their Actual Contribution to Final Scores

States give a lot of weight to the weights given to the indicators in their accountability systems. Decisions such as whether Achievement and Growth should count equally, and how much impact the School Quality and School Success indicator should have on a school’s final rating, can be quite difficult to make–and even more difficult to communicate effectively to local educators and other stakeholders. All too often, however, the weights states assign to indicators don’t reflect the actual influence each indicator has on a school’s composite score and accountability rating.

In this video, Chris Domaleski provides an example to demonstrate how the properties of an indicator can significantly change its influence on final scores.