A rash of new publications from nearly every national higher education organization address accountability. The purpose of this volume is to highlight the emerging consensus from this work and show how these ideas are playing out across the country. It is a collection of essays by practitioners, many at the highest levels of U.S. higher education, who have been asked to focus on how accountability systems in their states and at their institutions are being used and for what purposes. As consensus emerges that state-level accountability should be focused on the state's public agenda rather than institutional effectiveness, it becomes important for institutions to align their goals around those at the state level. This volume presents several stories from the state perspective and several from the institutional perspective and includes two chapters that comment on the overall prospects for, and challenges facing, this new paradigm for public accountability in higher education. This is the 135th issue of New Directions for Higher Education, a quarterly journal published by Jossey-Bass. Click here to view the entire listing of titles for New Directions for Higher Education.