State officials are looking to broaden the way school performances are judged to comply with new federal standards, moving beyond test scores and graduation rates to other measures, such as the atmosphere a school creates and the availability of art, music, and college-level courses.
The goal is to provide the public with a more holistic view of the quality of education at each school in Massachusetts by shining light on areas that get overlooked in a state accountability system that maintains a laser-like focus on standardized test scores.
Mitchell Chester, the state commissioner of elementary and secondary education, said his agency has not yet decided how many new measures might be added.
“We want to make sure that collectively the indicators in the system provide more signals than noise,” Chester said. “One concern I have is if we have too many signals, it might not be clear where things are going well and where schools need to buckle down.”