Show Me the Data

States can—and must—create report cards that meet the needs of parents, communities, and taxpayers. Getting people the data they need is essential because when families and communities have the right information to make decisions, students excel. States can build on bright spots and address challenges this year.

Read our 2017 analysis below of the information we could find in publicly available school report cards in all 50 states and DC.

Show Me the Data 2017:
States Can Improve
Report Cards This Year

Supplementary Resources

Scavenger Hunt

Does Your State Report Card Answer Your Questions?

Everyone deserves to know how their public schools are doing. Use this tool as a next step to go beyond DQC’s analysis and find out if your state provides information to answer key questions about school performance.

Last Year’s Report

Show Me the Data 2016: State Report Cards Must Answer Questions and Inform Action

Based on our 2016 analysis of statewide reports, we found that states were missing important opportunities to communicate about state education priorities and school quality because reports were hard to find, full of jargon, and missing important data. The findings teed up a conversation among states and partners about how to improve transparency and paved the way for this year’s report.

Take Action


  • Share this report. Start a conversation in your state about our findings and compare them to what you can find.
  • Use this comprehensive guide on building report cards that meet communities’ information needs and the requirements of the Every Student Succeeds Act.
  • States should consider developing policy that supports state report cards that meet stakeholder needs. See an example from Illinois.
  • Read our recommendations on publicly reporting state data to ensure that every community understands how schools and students are doing.

To view the entire set of data we used in our analysis, see our data file.

In September 2017, a team of DQC staff reviewed school report cards for all 50 states and the District of Columbia 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. One reviewer looked at an elementary school report card for each state while another reviewer looked at a high school report card for each state. 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.