The reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) makes this a good time to consider whether and how current accountability serves the public interest and whether and how it can do so better. In this chapter, I explore these issues in the context of the current literature on the effects of accountability in K-12 education. I’ll first consider the meaning of “public interest” and share a model of how accountability and assessment may operate in the public interest by benefiting student learning. I then consider how well the model fits available evidence by examining whether and how accountability assessment influences students’ learning opportunities and the relationship between accountability and learning. I end with conclusions about how well accountability currently serves the public interest and recommendations for improvements.