Why does public reporting matter for equity?

Information on how all groups of students are performing academically, and whether all groups of students have access to key resources for learning, is a key tool for parents making important decisions for their children, as well as for parents and community groups working to spark necessary improvements.


What does the Every Student Succeeds Act require?

Annual state and local report cards

Every year, each state must publish a statewide report card and each district1 must publish a district report card. District report cards must include information for the district as a whole, as well as for each school in that district. These report cards must include, at minimum:

  1. Details of the state accountability system, including schools identified for Comprehensive Support and Improvement and Targeted Support and
  2. Disaggregated results on all accountability indicators, including state assessments and graduation rates.
  3. Disaggregated assessment participation rates.
  4. Disaggregated results on the indicators that the state and its districts are already reporting to the Civil Rights Data Collection, including, but not limited to:
    1. access to advanced coursework, such as AP,
      IB, and dual enrollment;
    2. exclusionary discipline rates; and
    3. chronic absenteeism.
  5. The professional qualifications of educators, including the number and percentage of
    1. inexperienced teachers, principals, and other school leaders;
    2. teachers teaching with emergency credentials; and
    3. teachers who are out-of-field.

    Districts and state report cards must include comparisons of high-poverty and low-poverty schools on these metrics.

  6. State, local, and federal per-pupil expenditures, by funding source. These expenditures have to include actual personnel expenditures for each school, not just district averages.
  7. The number and percentage of students with the most significant cognitive disabilities taking the alternate assessment.
  8. At the state level, results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress, as compared with national averages.
  9. Disaggregated rates at which high school graduates enroll in higher education, if available.

What key questions should equity-minded advocates be asking?

  • How can states present all of these data in a way that is understandable to parents and community leaders? Will states make these report cards available in languages other than English?
  • What kinds of tools, training, or accompanying materials would help parents and advocates use this information to fight for stronger opportunities to learn for all children?

1. When used on this page, the term “district” refers to both traditional public school districts and charters.

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