State report cards should provide parents and the public with meaningful information about students and schools. But when this resource is missing data, hard to find, or difficult to understand, families and communities are left in the dark.
For a third year, DQC examined report cards from all 50 states and the District of Columbia to see how well state leaders are using their most public-facing resource to empower the public with quality information.
Report cards are easier to find and use – but not necessarily understand.
31 states have mobile-friendly report cards; mobile devices are how most families access information.
Only 15 states translate information on report cards into a language other than English.
Report cards still leave parents and communities in the dark.
26 states do not include discipline data, such as suspensions and expulsions. Without this information parents lack context on how these school practices may affect student learning.
25 states do not include required data on the number of inexperienced teachers, teachers with emergency or provisional credentials, or out-of-field teachers in a school.
Progress is possible.
Mississippi’s new design – completed in house and in just four months – is easier to navigate and find, is more comprehensive than ever before, and includes simple visuals that help put the data in context. It provides translations and a snapshot of key data points, such as aggregate test scores and graduation rates, up front while also making report card data easily downloadable for those who want to dig deeper or do their own analysis.
Show Me the Data: States Have Seized the Opportunity to Build Better Report Cards, but the Work is Not Done
Design and Language
- Use our scavenger hunt to examine your state’s report card and learn what information you can and can’t find.
- Share this report. Start a conversation in your community about our findings and why it is important for families and communities to have the information they need to make decisions.
- Read our recommendations on publicly reporting state data to ensure that every community understands how schools and students are doing.
- Read our blog post about our process as we reviewed Puerto Rico’s report card for the first time.
In January 2019, a team of DQC staff reviewed school report cards for all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico using categories such as ease of access, format, data elements, and subgroups. The indicators we looked for reflect both what is federally required and the information we know is valuable to families and communities. We also contacted each state with the opportunity to provide a link to their school report cards for analysis. Once the data collection was complete, the results were reviewed to ensure consistency and accuracy.
The data included does not reflect any updates to report cards made by states after DQC’s review. For more detailed information, please see the methods section included in our data file.
*The 2019 Show Me the Data report was updated as of April 4, 2019 to reflect feedback the Data Quality Campaign received from states.