Stakeholder Guide to the ESSA | Annual Report Cards

Charts, calculator, red pen, indicating that the State is preparing its annual reportJanuary 2017
A collaborative publication of the Center for Parent Information and Resources (CPIR) and The Advocacy Institute

Welcome to Section 6 of the Stakeholder Guide to the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which focuses on ESSA’s provisions regarding annual report cards. Here, you can learn more about:

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State Report Cards

ESSA continues and expands upon the requirement for both the state and local school districts to prepare and widely disseminate an annual report card. Some of the requirements of particular interest to stakeholders include:

… the minimum number of students necessary to be included in each of the student subgroups for use in the accountability system;

… the long-term goals and measurements of interim progress for all students and for each student subgroup;

… information on the progress of all students and subgroups of students toward meeting the long-term goals and measurements of interim progress;

… the state’s system of meaningful differentiation including the indicators, the weight of each indicator, and the methodology used to determine consistently underperforming subgroups of students;

… the number and names of all schools identified for comprehensive or targeted support and improvement;

… achievement of all subgroups of students on state assessments, high school graduation, any other academic indicator such as growth, and the indicator(s) of school quality or student success;

… the percentage of students assessed and not assessed, for all students and each subgroup of students;

… information submitted to the Civil Rights Data Collection regarding such measures as suspensions, expulsions, chronic absenteeism, bullying and harassment, preschool enrollment, and teacher qualifications;

… per-pupil expenditures of federal, state, and local funds for each school district and each school for the preceding year;

… number and percentage of students with the most significant cognitive disabilities who take the alternate assessment on alternate academic achievement standards by grade and subject;

… results of the state on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in reading and math in grades 4 and 8, compared to the national average of NAEP results;

… enrollment in public and private postsecondary education, where available, by each student subgroup; and

… any additional information the states believes is important to parents, students, and other members of the public.

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Parent Center Action Items

Stakeholders should take an active role in the development of state report cards. Given the amount of information that is required to be included, stakeholders can play a vital role in ensuring that report cards are understandable to the public. In fact, ESSA requires state report cards to be “presented in an understandable and uniform format that is developed in consultation with parents and, to the extent practicable, in a language that parents can understand.” (Section 1111(h)(1)(B)(ii)

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School District (LEA) Report Cards

Districts that receive Title I funds must issue annual report cards that provide the same information as the Annual State Report Card (with the exception of NAEP information) and must also provide information that shows:

  • how students in the district achieved on the academic assessments compared to students in the state as a whole;
  • for each school in the district, information that shows how the school’s students’ achievement on the academic assessments compared to students served by the district and the state as a whole.

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Parent Center Action Items

Easy-to-Understand Language. As with state report cards, ESSA requires district report cards “to be presented in an understandable and uniform format, and to the extent practicable, in a language that parents can understand.” Stakeholders should help ensure that this requirement is fulfilled, including voicing concerns to local school district officials when report cards are not parent-friendly.

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Authorship | This guide has been produced in a partnership between the Center for Parent Information and Resources (CPIR) and The Advocacy Institute under a cooperative agreement from the U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs. The Center for Parent Information and Resources is a project of the Statewide Parent Advocacy Network, Inc.

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Index of Sections in the Stakeholder Guide to the ESSA

The Stakeholder Guide to the ESSA is presented in separate sections. Which section would you like to read now?

1 | Background, Structure of the ESSA, Implementation Timeline, State Plans, Stakeholder Engagement

2 | Academic Content Standards and Achievement Standards 

3 | Academic Assessments

4 | Statewide Accountability System 

5 | Identification of Schools in Need

6 | Annual Report Cards (You’re already here!)

7 | Conclusion and Resources

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