Case study

Learning From Early Adopters in the New Accountability Era

Insights From California’s CORE Waiver Districts
Julie A. Marsh
University of Southern California
Susan Bush-Mecenas
Northwestern University
Heather J. Hough
Policy Analysis for California Education, Stanford University


The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) represents a notable shift in K–12 accountability, requiring a more comprehensive approach to assessing school performance and a less prescriptive approach to intervening in low-performing schools. This articles seeks to leverage the experiences of California’s Office to Reform Education (CORE) waiver districts to better understand what it means to implement an ESSA-like system. Specifically, this article examines educators’ attitudes about CORE’s accountability system, how it was implemented, and its intermediate outcomes.

This article was originally published in Educational Administration Quarterly by the University Council for Educational Administration and SAGE Publications.

Suggested citationMarsh, J. A., Bush-Mecenas, S., & Hough, H. J. (2017, August). Learning from early adopters in the new accountability era: Insights from California’s CORE waiver districts [Article]. Policy Analysis for California Education.