The United States is an outlier with respect to its heavy emphasis on student test scores for the purposes of school accountability. Many other countries instead use school inspection systems that pay more attention to a school's internal processes and practices. This policy note focuses on the school inspection systems of New Zealand and the Netherlands, with the goal of drawing lessons for the United States. It addresses three main policy issues: For what should individual schools be held accountable? Should inspectors be more like coaches or more like judges? And how independent should they be of policy-making bodies?

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