How district report cards can build data transparency

After granting waivers, states should release school and district report cards for the 2020-21 school year, report says
By: | August 13, 2020

School and district report cards can be an effective tool for embedding transparency into the process of sharing and assessing student data.

Some of the key data that have been included on report cards were dropped when states granted accountability and testing waivers in the wake of the COVID outbreak.

Moving forward, however, these reports must include data on chronic absenteeism, teacher certifications and Advanced Placement completion rates, and other key school quality indicators, according to the Data Quality Campaign’s “Promoting Transparency and Maintaining Public Trust Report Cards and the COVID-19 Crisis” resource.

The campaign urges states to release report cards for the 2020-21 school year to give educators and families a clear idea about where online learning has and has not been effective.

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The report cards should include data on per-pupil expenditures, postsecondary outcomes, discipline, teacher credentials and other critical data, the report says.

To better serve families, report cards can include COVID-era information such as school closure policies and how teachers will transition to online learning.

States should also work to improve report cards functionality, such as by comparing data across schools and allowing local leaders to add context to their school or district report cards.

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