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When Do States Have to Release Their ESSA Report Cards?

By Alyson Klein — January 07, 2019 2 min read
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Welcome to the 16th installment of Answering Your ESSA Questions! Our next question, which deals with Every Student Succeeds Act report cards, comes from a reader who preferred to remain anonymous.

Question: When do states need to publish their ESSA report cards?

Short answer: There’s really no deadline. It only has to happen once a year.

Longer answer: ESSA requires states to identify schools that are in need of improvement and those where vulnerable groups of students are struggling. And it calls for states to publish all sorts of new data—showing just how much they are spending per kid per school; comparing the test scores of kids in foster care, homeless students, and military-connected students with their peers; reporting on postsecondary enrollment; reporting results for long-term English-language learners, and more.

Under accountability regulations written by the Obama administration, states were supposed to publish this data by Dec. 31, 2018. But those regulations were scrapped by Republicans in Congress and the Trump administration in early 2017. So now there is no exact deadline for getting the information up, it just has to be published annually.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ team could suggest (in guidance) that states should publish report cards on a particular timeline, noted Anne Hyslop, the assistant director of policy development and government relations at the Alliance for Excellent Education, who served in the Education Department during the Obama administration. But the Trump Team has been reluctant to issue guidance in general, she said. The Trump administration’s November 2018 ESSA “parent guide” has a section on report cards, but makes no mention of a date for them to be released.

If you have an ESSA question for us, please send it to or Or tweet at us @PoliticsK12.

Want to see past editions of this feature? Take a look:

How Can States and Districts Use ESSA to Embrace Arts Education?

How Are States Tracking College and Career Readiness Under ESSA?

How Does School Climate Figure Into State ESSA Plans?

How Does Science Testing Work Under ESSA?

How Do State ESSA Plans Handle Mental Health?

What’s New for Children in Foster Care Under ESSA?

What’s the Toughest Part of ESSA For District Leaders?

How Does Funding For ESSA’s Testing Requirements Work?

Does ESSA Require Teachers to Be Highly Qualified?

Can Districts Use ESSA Funds to Buy Crossing Guard Signs?

How Are States Handling Testing Opt-Outs Under ESSA?

Can Districts Use the SAT or ACT for School Accountability Without State OK?

Which States Are Eschewing School Grades?

How Can Districts and States Use ESSA to Bolster STEM and Computer Science?

What’s Going on With Testing Audits?

What’s Up With ESSA Block Grant Funding?

Is Testing the Only Way a Student Can Achieve Success Under ESSA?

Want to learn more about the Every Student Succeeds Act? Here’s some useful information: