School & District Management

States Flesh Out Report Cards, but Key Data Still Tough to Find, Study Says

By Sarah D. Sparks — December 04, 2017 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

States have made some progress in including necessary data in public report cards on school and district quality, but many still have a long way to go to make the report cards easy for parents to find and understand, according to a new analysis by the Data Quality Campaign.

The Every Student Succeeds Act requires states to make public significantly more information on schools than its predecessor, No Child Left Behind, including individual school spending, rates of students enrolled in advanced courses, and student discipline. ESSA also requires all of those accountability measures broken out for more than 10 different student groups—the Council of Chief State School Officers estimates each report card will now hold more than 2,000 different data points.

States have been struggling to overhaul their report cards to include all of that information while still making the resulting reports “easily accessible and user-friendly.” In the data campaign’s first analysis of state report cards last year, it found a majority of states missed whole categories of data and what information there was, was buried within the site.

This year, the campaign found states improved, though 18 states still do not break out performance for at least one student group, such as ethnicity, gender, or migrant status. Nine states now translate their report cards into other languages, up from only five states last year. But an equal number of states do not disaggregate any of their performance data by student groups. Moreover, 18 states do not disaggregate data for at least one of the groups for which ESSA requires it, such as gender, race, or English-language or disability status.

All but two states now post accountability data from at least the 2015-16 school year, if not from 2016-17. That’s an improvement from last year’s analysis when some states’ most recent accountability data was three years old.

Moreover, the report found states beginning to look beyond static test scores to judge school quality, with 43 states including nonacademic indicators of school quality, such as chronic absenteeism or discipline data, and 28 states reporting measures of school growth. That latter could prove a boon for districts like Chicago’s, which has shown rapid growth, particularly for disadvantaged students.

Graphic Source: Getty


Related:

Want more research news? Get the latest studies and join the conversation.

Related Tags:

A version of this news article first appeared in the Inside School Research blog.


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Evaluating Equity to Drive District-Wide Action this School Year
Educational leaders are charged with ensuring all students receive equitable access to a high-quality education. Yet equity is more than an action. It is a lens through which we continuously review instructional practices and student
Content provided by BetterLesson
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Attendance Awareness Month: The Research Behind Effective Interventions
More than a year has passed since American schools were abruptly closed to halt the spread of COVID-19. Many children have been out of regular school for most, or even all, of that time. Some
Content provided by AllHere

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School & District Management Letter to the Editor School Mask Mandates: Pandemic, ‘Panicdemic,’ or Personal?
"A pandemic is based on facts. A 'panicdemic' is based on fears. Today, we have both," writes a professor.
1 min read
School & District Management How 'Vaccine Discrimination' Laws Make It Harder for Schools to Limit COVID Spread
In Montana and Ohio, the unvaccinated are a protected class, making it tough to track and contain outbreaks, school leaders say.
4 min read
Principal and District Superintendent Bonnie Lower takes the temperature of a student at Willow Creek School as the school reopened, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Willow Creek, Mont.
Bonnie Lower, a principal and district superintendent in Willow Creek, Mont., checks the temperature of a student as Willow Creek School reopened for in-person instruction in the spring.
Ryan Berry/Bozeman Daily Chronicle via AP
School & District Management Opinion 'Futures Thinking' Can Help Schools Plan for the Next Pandemic
Rethinking the use of time and place for teachers and students, taking risks, and having a sound family-engagement plan also would help.
17 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
iStock/Getty
School & District Management Opinion The Consequence of Public-Health Officials Racing to Shutter Schools
Public-health officials' lack of concern for the risks of closing schools may shed light on Americans' reticence to embrace their directives.
5 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty