Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version



Published in Great Plains Research, 18:2 (Fall 2008) 248-247. Copyright © 2008 by the Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Chris Gallagher's description of Nebraska's Schoolbased, Teacher-led Assessment and Reporting System (STARS) is a very thoughtful participant-observer account of the state's unique response to the call for accountability in the No Child Left Behind legislation. As a researcher charged with supporting and evaluating the STARS effort, Gallagher outlines principles that have guided the STARS process, including local control, teacher leadership, professional development, community engagement, and student engagement in meaningful classroom assessment. But it is his use of narrative "portraits of practice" that gives a sense of what this Nebraska effort really means for stakeholders, from students and teachers to administrators and community members.